Renée Zellweger Is Really Singing in the Judy Garland Biopic Judy – Vanity Fair

Renée Zellweger Is Really Singing in the Judy Garland Biopic Judy - Vanity Fair
Renée Zellweger stuns as Judy Garland in first Judy biopic trailer
It wasn’t enough just to look and act like Judy Garland. In the upcoming biopic Judy, star Renée Zellweger is also singing like Garland, doing her best impression of the famous performer.

The new trailer, released Friday, features a movie montage of Garland’s life, with brief glimpses of Darci Shaw playing young Judy, and Finn Wittrock as Mickey Deans, Garland’s fifth and last husband before her death in 1969. Floating over it all is Zellweger’s breathy, emotional rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” Garland’s most famous number.

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“I made it clear to Renée that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice, but what I wanted was for Renée to make the songs her own,” director Rupert Goold said in a statement released with the trailer. “And this she did to thrilling effect.”

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Like Rocketman, the upcoming Elton John biopic that has heavily promoted star Taron Egerton using his own voice, Judy seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on Zellweger’s real voice. It all comes just months after Bohemian Rhapsody became a global hit, with Rami Malek’s voice dubbed over by the Freddie Mercury originals. If you loved Bohemian Rhapsody, these trailers seem to be saying, imagine how much you’d love a music biopic with real singing.

Though the Judy trailer hops around different moments in the icon’s life, Goold has said the biopic will be more of a concentrated look at one period, focusing on her five-week sold-out run at the Talk of the Town in London. It was 1968, and Garland’s career was winding down as she battled with drug addiction and clashed with her management. In the midst of all that, she was also in a new relationship with Deans, whom she married during the Talk of the Town run, announcing their secret nuptials one night onstage.

In a recent interview with People, Zellweger shared that making the film gave her a new level of “empathy and respect” for the embattled Garland, who had been a working entertainer for much of her life.

Video: JUDY | Official Teaser Trailer | Roadside Attractions

“What she had to overcome in a time when women didn’t necessarily feel that they had power over their own lives in the way that we do today, that stayed with me and I hope folks will be moved by that,” Zellweger said. Judy will hit theaters on September 27.

People magazine reported that to prepare for the part, the 50-year-old Oscar winner took music lessons, studied choreography and read up about the actress and singer, who shot to fame as a child star, but struggled later in adulthood. She also spent two hours a day in the makeup chair getting prosthetics, contact lenses and wigs applied.

— Lady Gaga’s four outfits, Jared Leto’s head, and all the campy looks from this year’s Met Gala

In the first official trailer of the upcoming film “Judy,” directed by Rupert Goold, we are getting a glimpse of what the legendary movie star will look like on the screen adaptation of Peter Quilter’s musical “End of the Rainbow,” Entertainment Weekly reported Friday.

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Judy Garland pictured in New York on arrival with her family, from London, en route to Miami where she will earn an all-time record salary of $10,000 for a one night stand. Mrs. Garland, wife of producer Sid Luft, arrived with her three children Liza, 14; Lorna, 8; and Joey, 5. Undated. (Getty)

It wasn’t enough just to look and act like Judy Garland. In the upcoming biopic Judy, star Renée Zellweger is also singing like Garland, doing her best impression of the famous performer.

“She understood about human frailties in other people and was very understanding,” continued Luft. “She hated discrimination and loved everyone. Both of my parents taught me kindness, understanding and not taking things for granted.”

The new trailer, released Friday, features a movie montage of Garland’s life, with brief glimpses of Darci Shaw playing young Judy, and Finn Wittrock as Mickey Deans, Garland’s fifth and last husband before her death in 1969. Floating over it all is Zellweger’s breathy, emotional rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” Garland’s most famous number.

“It was such a joy learning about the magnificence of this person,” Zellweger explained. “I always admired her. She was so quick and so funny. She could hit the ball back with the best of them.”

VIDEO: Renee Zellweger Sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow in JUDY Trailer

“I made it clear to Renée that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice, but what I wanted was for Renée to make the songs her own,” director Rupert Goold said in a statement released with the trailer. “And this she did to thrilling effect.”

“She was a great mother — incredibly loving, touchy-feeling and with a wicked sense of humor,” said the 66-year-old, per Closer Weekly.

Like Rocketman, the upcoming Elton John biopic that has heavily promoted star Taron Egerton using his own voice, Judy seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on Zellweger’s real voice. It all comes just months after Bohemian Rhapsody became a global hit, with Rami Malek’s voice dubbed over by the Freddie Mercury originals. If you loved Bohemian Rhapsody, these trailers seem to be saying, imagine how much you’d love a music biopic with real singing.

Back in March of this year, Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft recalled her childhood to UK’s Sunday Times Post.

Though the Judy trailer hops around different moments in the icon’s life, Goold has said the biopic will be more of a concentrated look at one period, focusing on her five-week sold-out run at the Talk of the Town in London. It was 1968, and Garland’s career was winding down as she battled with drug addiction and clashed with her management. In the midst of all that, she was also in a new relationship with Deans, whom she married during the Talk of the Town run, announcing their secret nuptials one night onstage.

Zellweger, 50, told the outlet that the chance to play Garland was a “magical” experience.

In a recent interview with People, Zellweger shared that making the film gave her a new level of “empathy and respect” for the embattled Garland, who had been a working entertainer for much of her life.

The actress admitted that losing her mother so suddenly was incredibly difficult at such a young age.

Judy Teaser Trailer: Renée Zellweger Stars as The Worlds Greatest Entertainer

“What she had to overcome in a time when women didn’t necessarily feel that they had power over their own lives in the way that we do today, that stayed with me and I hope folks will be moved by that,” Zellweger said. Judy will hit theaters on September 27.

Judy takes place in 1969, one year before Garlands death from a barbiturate overdose at age 47. With her health deteriorating, Garland was supporting herself with a concert tour, caring for her three children, and embarking on a romance with her future third husband, the much-younger nightclub manager Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock). Garland was haunted throughout her life by harrowing memories of a childhood in the spotlight; her mistreatment by the studio directly resulted in the drug addictions and eating disorder that contributed to her untimely death.

— Lady Gaga’s four outfits, Jared Leto’s head, and all the campy looks from this year’s Met Gala

Renee Zellweger in Judy (Roadside Attractions)MoreDirector Rupert Goold said in a press statement that he cast Zellweger for her talent, sense of humor, and the musical ability she showcased in 2002s Chicago. “I made it clear to Renee that I wasnt looking for an impersonation of Judy Garlands inimitable voice,” said Goold, “but what I wanted was for Renee to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect.

Lady Gaga is no stranger to dramatic entrances, and even though she arrived early at this year's Met Gala as a co-chair of the event, she stopped the show anyway—and likely set the tone for the over-the-top evening to follow.

Renee Zellweger in Judy (Roadside Attractions)MoreIn order to transform into the show-business legend, Zellweger spent two hours a day getting makeup, prosthetics, and contact lenses applied, a process the Oscar winner described to People as “an exercise in Zen.”

Judy Trailer: Renée Zellwegers Judy Garland Takes You Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Working with her frequent collaborator, designer Brandon Maxwell. Gaga arrived in a hot pink gown with a voluminous parachute skirt and 25-foot train that draped over the steps of the pink carpet. She came along with Maxwell on her arm and four assistants—holding umbrellas—to carry the train. They walked down the block by the Metropolitan Museum hauling a wagon full of champagne behind them—emblazoned with Haus of Gaga.

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But that wasnt all. As soon as she made it to the bottom of the stairs of the museum, Gaga did her first outfit transformation. Maxwell pulled at a sash at her waist, opened a few snaps, pulled on a zipper, and immediately Gaga was wearing a little black dress. Another few alterations, and she was in a cylindrical dress, in the same pink fabric as her original dress. One last tug, and in a sequin bikini and fishnets with glitter platform boots emerged. Her hair was in platinum waves, and her eyes were rimmed with pointed metal false eyelashes. She accessorized with a comparatively subtle Tiffany & Co butterfly necklace. Once she stripped down to the final look, she vamped and danced on the famous Met steps.

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Judy Trailer: Renée Zellweger Plays Judy Garland In New Movie

Maxwell was an obvious choice for this years gala look, because he and Gaga have been friends for a decade, and he worked for Gaga before he started his own line. According to E! News, she has been planning and working on the look for over a month.

The clip opens with Zellweger singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while the camera pans up the Yellow Brick Road, before taking the audience far, far away from The Wizard of Oz universe and into the Swinging Sixties London.

— Cover story: Nicole Kidman reflects on her career, marriage, faith, and texting with Meryl Streep

In a new teaser trailer for Judy released Friday morning, fans get a good glimpse of Renée Zellweger — as well as her angelic voice — as she portrays Judy Garland.

Video: JUDY Official Teaser Trailer [HD] Renée Zellweger

Judy First Trailer: Renee Zellweger Transforms Into Judy Garland For Awards Season Biopic

Lady Gaga has always been a careful crafter when it comes to her image. While her limit-pushing attire has often taken the lions share of attention on that front, she has also deployed her hair as well. Shes tried nearly everything: pixies, bouffants, braids, hair accessories made out of meat, and every colored wig imaginable. The man responsible for her memorable looks is Frederic Aspiras, her hairstylist and wigmaker since 2009.

In the trailer for Judy, Zellweger is almost unrecognisable, her usual blonde hair changed to a dark brown, as she takes on the role of famed singer and actress Garland.

On Sunday, she presented Aspiras with the award for hair artist of the year at the Daily Front Rows annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards. Hes not just, in my eyes, the greatest hairstylist in the world, hes the brother I never had, an emotional Gaga said at the Beverly Hills ceremony. Hes truly one of my best friends in the whole world.

Oscar-winner Zellweger lends her own voice to the film as she sings the legendary tune from The Wizard Of Oz, in which Garland played the starring role of Dorothy.

Renée Zellweger transforms into famed actress and singer Judy Garland in teaser trailer for Judy

While delivering a heartfelt, 15-minute-long speech, Gaga, who calls Aspiras Freddie, gushed to the Hollywood and fashion crowd—which included Kate Hudson, Alicia Silverstone, Sia, Christian Siriano, Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley—about their collaboration that has grown into a friendship. Gaga first met Aspiras a decade ago through a mutual friend, popular wigmaker Kim Kimble. She hired Aspiras to style her hair for the Monster Ball tour in 2009. After six months on the road performing shows, Gaga remembers one very special moment—the birth of her yellow wig with black roots.

As I was sitting in the glam chair, slowly his hand ripped out a page from Italian Vogue across the table with a model who had piss-yellow hair. I said, Freddie, what is that? He said, I know, I was just thinking. And then he stopped talking. I said, Freddie, with this hair and with this makeup, I would look like a live Lichtenstein. He said, Yes. I said, This is live pop art. Then he said, What if we added a root to give you an edge? I remember asking him to make the wig right away and I began wearing it in my show immediately. That was the beginning of me and Freddie, and I pray to God that there will never be an end.

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The piss-yellow wig went on to inspire some of Gagas most widely known looks. Her neon yellow ombré waves at the 2010 Grammy Awards; the long, flowing white and blue tips she wore with the meat dress at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards; her appearance as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone, at the 2011 V.M.A.s; and her current Old Hollywood glamour styles all owe their execution to Aspiras. During her tribute, Gaga bragged that Aspiras had once sewn three wigs together on her head because she wanted it to be more bombastic and that he has developed a quick-change technique to pull her wigs on or off her head in 35 seconds during her stage performances. He even stayed up all night before the Academy Awards last month, where the singer won the best-original-song Oscar for Shallow, to dye her hair platinum blonde because—as Gaga stated—we are both like, bitch, we didnt come this far to go to the Oscars with a root. It was all night, hail Mary!

Ahead of the ceremony, Aspiras spoke to Vanity Fair on the red carpet about Gagas recent awards-season styles. Aspiras admitted that the blue hair Gaga debuted at the Golden Globes in January was a risky choice.

It was not conventional to have colored hair at an awards show like the Golden Globes, but we wanted to do something fun, said Aspiras. We took a chance and Im very happy with it. You never know. Some of them work and some of them dont. I think people want to see that fantasy. They want to see happiness, especially in our society today, and we wanted to bring a little joy into peoples world with blue hair.

Judy trailer: Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland a future Oscar contender?

Aspiras is also proud of the intricate bouffant updo her platinum blonde hair was sculpted into at last months Oscars.

Video: JUDY Official Trailer (2019) Renée Zellweger, Judy Garland Movie HD

The Oscars was something very special and it means so much because it was such a special night for the both of us, he said. We wanted to do something classy and be different.

Over the past 10 years, Aspiras said he has lost count of how many wigs he has created for Gaga. But the process in which they share their ideas remains the same.

Watch Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in the Teaser Trailer for Judy

Sometimes we text, and I have an idea for her, and sometimes shes like, what the heck are you doing, said Aspiras. But she believes in me, and thats the thing I most love about her. She trusts and respects all the people she works with and her team. Weve been together for 10 years, and if I say I have an idea, she respects that and listens. That has never changed.

Katy Perry has always been one to deliver a show, when it comes to her red carpet looks, and this years Met Gala look was no exception, as the singer arrived at the event as—well—a glamorous chandelier, is probably the best way to describe it. Designed by Moschino, the outsize, glistening look was an immediate pull all the focus moment on the carpet.

For past Met Galas, Perry has worn a variety of out there ensembles—angel-wings, a red veil—but this year is more fun and frothy and high-concept, paying tribute to the camp theme, which seems tailor-made for her. Perry, of course, is known for committing to her costume looks. She has dressed as pretty much every variety of candy or dessert confection out there; and her Halloween costumes are more involved than most peoples wedding day looks (the Flaming Hot Cheeto and Hillary Clinton looks come to mind).

In Judy trailer, Renée Zellweger makes Garlands rainbow her own

It is hard for us not to think, gazing upon this chandelier ensemble, about how she is going to converse with basically anyone inside the event tonight. We imagine a lot of people trying to get close to her to chat and then just sort of waving: Well catch up later!

When working with Mark, Im always amazed at how he makes a song feel classic and new all at the same time. Throwback but modern.\n— MILEY CYRUS

I love how much Mark is all about the music—he is so passionate about creating something unforgettable.\n— ALICIA KEYS

Mark has always been brilliant. Hes what you get when you combine immense talent with an unwavering commitment and work ethic.\n— SEAN LENNON

Renée Zellweger makes stunning transformation into Judy Garland in teaser trailer for biopic

Electric Lady Studios, Greenwich Village, New York City: From its inception, it was known as Jimi Hendrixs Manhattan recording studio. In 1970 he converted a former club into a studio; the building was distinguished by a curved red brick wall on the outside and psychedelic murals on the walls inside. Many musicians have recorded here: the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Clash, J.Cole, Prince, Patti Smith, Kendrick Lamar, and numerous and legendary others. Today, Mount Sinai hospital has taken over part of the building; the curved brick wall is gone, and only one door identifies the historic recording studio. Inside, three flights up (no elevator), the musician-producer Mark Ronson is putting the finishing touches on a song hell record the next day with the radio host Howard Stern. Mark has produced music for Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Adele, Lady Gaga, Queens of the Stone Age, worked with Diplo, and others both numerous and legendary. So why is he doing a song with Howard Stern? Because, he tells me, he grew up in New York City as a fan of Sterns early radio show; now he says that listening to him in the car in L.A. is one of the things that makes living there more bearable. Also, Howard asked him to do it.

Mark Ronson is tall and handsome, with great hair in a dashing style that he claims he only washes and combs. Hes wearing dark pants, vintage sneakers, and, most notably, a Heartbreakers T-shirt. Not Tom Pettys Heartbreakers but the 1970s Heartbreakers fronted by the late, former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders—beloved by fans of great, sloppy rock and roll. Mark, 43, lived in London until he was eight years old before moving to New York City. He would never have heard the Dolls or the Heartbreakers play live; both bands had broken up, and Thunders died of a rumored drug overdose in 1991. Still, game recognizes game: Mark grew up obsessed with mainstream rock (AC/DC, Guns N Roses), rhythm-based funk, R&B, and then rap, and hes always had a feel for the real thing. Even before this past year, when he won Grammys, a Golden Globe, and the Oscar for Shallow from A Star Is Born (along with co-writers Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt, and Anthony Rossomando), Mark was considered a go to producer.

Renée Zellweger releases debut solo album to celebrate Judy Garland biopic

Mark frequented clubs—but he wasnt some rich kid who sneaked into Studio 54 with his parents gold membership card—he went to hip-hop joints. At age 17, he made $75 for his first D.J. gig, at a bar on Second Avenue. He recalls that it was during a snowstorm, he had to haul his own P.A. system, and he lost money on the job. He frequented Life, on Bleecker Street (now Poisson Rouge), where, back in the 1990s, the clubs D.J. played dreamy, Euro music. Mark consistently begged the owner to let him D.J., and one night he took over the turntables. He played a combo of AC/DC and Chaka Khan, 70s soul, and Biggie, and, he says, I decided I was just going to fucking kill it, and I dont think theyd ever seen people dancing on the tables like that. It became my residency. Quickly, his Friday-night sets became a thing. Among those who regularly stopped by to check him out: Rick Rubin, Jay Z, Chris Rock, Prince, Mariah Carey, Puffy, and others who, along with the fashion crowd, hired Mark to D.J. their parties.

When Dominique Trenier discovered Mark at Life, he arranged for Mark to co-produce the 2001 U.S. debut album (Everybody Got Their Something) for Nikka Costa—a singer and the daughter of Frank Sinatras arranger-conductor Don Costa. Mark tells me he had no clue what to do in the recording studio, but he says that having been a D.J., being immersed in beat culture, and coming from a large family of colorful characters helped him learn how to produce records. The Nikka Costa album created a lot of hype, didnt sell very well in the U.S., but caused a stir in England, where his next project was a solo album (Here Comes the Fuzz) in 2003, which included contributions from Mos Def, Q-Tip, and others. That was followed by his album of covers, Version: I wanted to make a Radiohead album with a James Brown vibe; I did it for my own enjoyment. The difference between my own records and records I produce for other people is that my solo records originate from a sonic or conceptual idea that Im inspired by—one that wouldnt make sense on anyone elses record. His solo work got him noticed in England and eventually led him to work with the woman he calls the most iconic female artist of this generation—Amy Winehouse.

Judys first trailer shows Renee Zellwegers transformation into Judy Garland

Mark better never lose his phone. His contacts include every major singer, musician, rapper, and sideman in the business. Ever since working with Amy Winehouse in 2006 on the multi-Grammy-winning Back to Black—with the exception of a period in 2011 and 2012 that he describes to me as a down, dark time (I was partying too much, stumbling out of clubs like I was [Oasiss] Liam Gallagher)—its been nothing but one amazing project after another. Among Marks work was a 2018 tribute single for what would have been Michael Jacksons 60th birthday that combined several of the singers hits. (Mark didnt comment on the renewed allegations against Jackson of child molestation.) Hes worked with musicians as diverse as Paul McCartney and Romy Madley Croft of the xx, and Queens of the Stone Age, whose leader, Josh Homme, says, He appreciates talented folks without trying to change, fix, or judge them. Hes a positive guy—in attitude and optimism. Hes a great musician across the board, but his skill is hiding his own.

Mark has a poker face that belies a dry, sardonic wit. He also is modest to the point of self-effacement. Hes in therapy, which he says he likes, and admits to all sorts of anxieties. He tells me he used to think that every record he worked on would be his last. The day we won [the Grammy for] Record of the Year for Uptown Funk, I thought, Oh god, this will never happen again; Ive been faking it all along. But now, he says, hes getting better. I dont have golden ears where I can tell a hit song. If you play me 10 songs and ask me which one Selena Gomez should record tomorrow, I wont necessarily know. There have been times when I thought I didnt know what the fuck I was doing, but Ill know it when I hit it. At some point, you get better about it and think, O.K., this is whats got me up to here, so maybe Im not so embarrassed or annoyed by my neuroses. I just have to accept that its part of me, embrace it, it got me to where I am, so fuck it.

So, Amy. Recalling the day they met in 2006, and the way they worked together, Mark says, I think Amy was the first one who came around and said, You can do this on your own terms, you can do something thats exciting and a little bit left of center that can capture the mainstream. She was influenced by jazz, all her chords came from jazz, and she would show me diagrams of chords. At this point in our conversation, Mark shows me Amys handwritten lyrics to Back to Black (which he keeps under framed glass), with little hearts drawn in and the chords written out. She was totally straight when we worked together, he says. Everyone was telling me, Oh, youre working with Amy Winehouse? Shes been working on that record for three years. But I met her, and we started working that day. We did five songs in three days. She was like a honed, laser-sharp machine; I was lucky to meet her when she got sober, she had sorted herself out, and we just hit a vibe. The six songs I did with her were done in like 10 days. There was such an instant bond, and even though she was from North London, there was that humor, and that Jewish thing we both had. She would say, Youre the big sister I never wanted. She was someone I could have been friends with for my whole life.

One day we were walking, he continues, and she said she used to be pretty fucked up, and people would come to the house and thered be broken glasses and blood on the walls. And she said her dad and her manager came around and they tried to make me go to rehab and I was like no, no, no. I told her that because she was talking about it with such distance, and this was such a heartfelt story, and there was something hook-y about what she just said, we should go back to the studio and try to write a song. So she went to the back room at Sorcerer Studios and came back with a two-bar blues, and of course my inner D.J. was thinking, Can we make it a little faster? She really is the only person I saw who could write a song in 40 minutes. She had no filter. I remember asking her on [the song] Back to Black to change a lyric because it didnt rhyme. And the thought of changing a lyric.… Well, she wasnt indignant that I asked her, but it was like How could I change it? Thats what I wrote. How could I change it to make it rhyme? And my pop brain was like, Well, we do it all the time. But she said, This is the emotion, this is what I felt, I cant change one word. She was so honest, and I thought not everybody is so uncompromising and talented enough to do that.

After the massive success of that album—she won five Grammys and he won Producer of the Year—even though she went back to a drugged-up life, he says he never expected her to die. I guess for all the drinking and partying Id done, Id never been close to someone experimenting with hard drugs. So I guess I was a little naïve. After that album, he had a bit of a downturn, between Amy and 2014s Uptown Funk—the ubiquitous single with Bruno Mars that appeared on Marks fourth solo album, Uptown Special.

According to Mark, I knew when I was doing that record that it had to be the best thing Id ever done or no one would care anymore. It could have been a song on Brunos record, but because I was in the middle of making my record, it ended up on my record. Im eternally grateful for that. And being able to go on Saturday Night Live with Bruno fronting that 2014 performance, obviously, for a minute, I was the luckiest sideman in the world. I know what I added to it, but is the bulk of it Bruno? Of course. Ill be totally honest and say that Bruno wrote 75 percent of that song. I ask if the song—which took seven months to make and is still played at basketball games, weddings, and anytime dancing is involved—made him super-rich. No, he says, because by the time you divide up the publishing between all the writers of the song [along with the inevitable lawsuit from someone who then gets added as one of the writers]…. I mean, of course we did O.K., and it gave me a platform in this country. I didnt have that in the U.S., because my solo success had all been in England. It gives you name recognition, leeway, and power for your next record. It gives you six years in the pop world to be relevant.

He adds: Bruno said the funniest thing. He said, How come every time its on the radio or on iTunes its Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, and every time we get sued, its Bruno Mars featuring Mark Ronson?

Mark tells me hes never been romantically involved with any of the women hes worked with: It seems like it would be a huge minefield, he says. He describes himself as a romantic whos always been in long-term relationships. There was Quincy Joness daughter, Rashida, who remains a good friend. In 2011, he married the model and actress Joséphine de La Baume. In 2018 they got divorced, and he is reluctant to discuss what happened, saying they have a good relationship. And he adds, Its tough. We were together for eight years and married for five. Were two people who really love each other and had a history and the best of intentions, and it just didnt work out. (A conversation follows between the two of us about how difficult it can be to maintain a marriage when someone is obsessed with work. How, during dinner, you could be thinking of getting back to the studio to fix a drum part, or a bass line that isnt quite right.) According to Sean Lennon, Mark often reminds me of a prizefighter or an Olympic athlete; hes able to block out the world entirely in order to focus on a task at hand. Mark says, When Im on a project, I definitely go all in, and whatever effect it has on your life, for better or worse, Im fully immersed. But I think Ive gotten a little bit better at figuring out when you can cut out. Instead of staying in the studio until 2 A.M., I can leave at 10 P.M. He admits that hes been seeing someone new, but didnt want to talk about it because he said it felt important and he didnt want to jinx it. He did say, however, with perturbed amusement, that the womans name (Rebecca Schwartz) wound up on his Wikipedia page; he has no idea who put that up there.

Mark executive-produced Lady Gagas 2016 album, Joanne, which led to co-writing the Oscar-winning song Shallow. Mark tells me he went to see A Star Is Born thinking hed rehearse a few non-partisan things to say if he didnt think it was amazing. But, he says, I couldnt believe Id just spent seven months in the studio with her in extremely close quarters…. For someone whos one of the biggest pop stars in the world to be able to make you believe shes an unknown…. I was instantly, fully in—the minute she was throwing the trash in the alley. Movies about music are usually done so badly, but this one got everything right. And for this song to be in the moral fiber of the movie, well, Im very grateful to be a part of it.

Dua Lipa, whos working with Mark on her next album, says, One of the things I love about Mark is how he brings artists together and everything feels so collaborative. And so, Marks fifth solo album, Late Night Feelings, out in June, is marked by one amazing female vocalist after another. He describes the album as a D.J. breakup record; its the most modern sounding record Ive ever made. He says the mood and the lyrics reflect the melancholy he feels about the breakup of his marriage. This album is all female vocalists, but it wasnt by design. I knew what I wanted to say on this record and you just find the people who are going to be your best sparring partners. People who were willing to go to the heartbreak zone a little bit. The difference between Late Night Feelings and my previous solo records is that this one came from an emotional place rather than a conceptual one. Its the first time I had no choice but to put my own honesty and realness first—instead of a kitschy or interesting concept.

However, from the first second of this album to the last, you cannot help but want to get up and dance: Marks inner D.J. at work. Even the song Miley Cyrus sings, Nothing Breaks Like a Heart*,* is a catchy, danceable tune. I love the storytelling of country music, and thats what Mark does with his production and songs he writes and finds, Miley says. He gave me my very own classic country song but with that twist that makes it work in clubs or on the radio. Hes the master at that. Lykke Li, who sings on the title track, says, I think there is something about Marks gentle spirit that unlocks vocals—especially female ones. Somehow we all channeled that heartbreak that is real in all of us. The extraordinary gospel-based singer YEBBA, who sings three songs on the album, says, Mark puts together the most forgotten shades of my emotions. I swear I found my own reflection somewhere in the making of this project. And King Princess (who is signed to Marks own Zelig label) says, Mark is god, and I try to respect his opinions because I know he has great taste. Additionally, Alicia Keys, Camila Cabello, Angel Olsen, Ilsey Juber, and Dodgr round out the all-female cast.

After many hours of conversation over two days at Electric Lady, Mark tells me: Im lucky that my real success didnt happen until I was older. Ive been up and down, and I was lucky that my big success came when I was 32, so I knew I wasnt going to squander it away. Some of the things that have happened to me in music are beyond anything I ever could have imagined. So, now that hes checked off a lot of things on his wish list—Saturday Night Live, Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, huge solo success, working with amazing talents—whats next? Well, he says, coming from a big family, he wants one of his own—so children will eventually be in the picture. But, he tells me, as clichéd as it sounds, my true heroes are people like Quincy Jones, whos made music thats meaningful in peoples lives for 30 or 40 years. The only thing I wake up in the morning and care about and want to do is to be in the studio getting that feeling again: to make a good piece of music.

When Billy Porter start mulling his look for the 2019 Met Gala, he sought some advice from his collaborator Ryan Murphy, who suggested he try to do all five looks from Diana Rosss Mahogany. Seems like a challenge that the Pose star, who stood out on the Oscars red carpet earlier this year with a black gown and long train, would relish, but he wasnt interested.

And I looked at him and said I dont want to work that hard. I want to wear one outfit and enjoy myself, Porter said on the red carpet as he went into the event, after he disembarked from the palanquin he was carried on. The thing that popped out for me was the Egyptian look.

So he went with the winged look that Ross wears in the 1975 movie where she plays a fashion designer. With his stylist, Sam Ratelle, and the theatrical design duo The Blondes, they designed long wings an a bodysuit made of sequins and Preciosa crystals. Even though it took him five hours to get ready for his striking entrance, Porter said it wasnt too hard to wear. Its not that heavy, he said. He was carried in by six men in gold pants and sneakers, giving his throwback look a few modern touches. I feel fabulous! Its Egyptian realness, he added.

Porter said he also liked the look for its symbolism. I want wings so I can fly, he said. I wanted to be the Gods, the sun god, and enlightenment. All of that is within the realm of my look. I wanted to do something that was positive and bring joy to people. We need a little bit of that.

On Wednesday, the same day that Jacki Weaver and Diane Keaton were premiering their new film, Poms, in Los Angeles, Anjelica Huston was quoted making what seemed to be a thinly-veiled dig at the ensemble cheerleading comedy—which follows a group of retired women who get a second go at their favorite pastime. In a wide-ranging conversation with Vulture, the Oscar-winning actress was asked why she agreed to co-star in John Wick 3.

Im looking for movies that impress me in some way, that arent apologetically humble or humiliating like, Band of cheerleaders gets back together for one last hurrah, you know, Huston said, offering the rough plot of Poms as an example. An old-lady cheerleader movie. I dont like that kind of thing. If Im going to be an old lady—and Im sort of touching old lady these days—at least I want to be a special old lady.

Didnt she grow up in a castle in Ireland? the Australian actress cracked, referencing Hustons childhood spent mostly in Ireland, where her father—the filmmaker John Huston—was a citizen. I cant see her cheerleading, Weaver chuckled. But then, I grew up in Australia, where there is just no cheerleading culture. I think the most interesting acting happens outside your comfort zone.

Weaver said that she met Huston several years ago at a Hollywood party, and considered her to be charming. At least, until hearing about this interview. But it isnt really in Weavers nature to be wounded by stray comments and slink away.

I just laughed, Weaver said of her response, before adding cheerfully, And then I said, Well, she can go fuck herself. I was kind of disappointed. I had always been an admirer of Anjelica. And I thought, Thats a bit mean and petty. Weaver can be a bit mean and petty, too, but only when provoked. Giggling, she added: I would say she must be going through menopause, but she must have had that ages ago.

That said, Weaver thought Hustons references to old lady parts were on point. Thats the problem—theres so much ageism in our society, she said. And a lot of it comes from the ages. People are people. Some of us got here sooner than others. A lot of my close friends are in their thirties. Except for the creakiness in your bones, I dont think there is really that much difference between us when we really get to know each other.

Pointing to her own romantic history as an example, the five-times married actress explained: My sons father was 30 years older than I. My husband, who Ive been with 17 years, is 9 years younger than I. But before that, I had a boyfriend who I lived with for 7 years who was 15 years younger than I. I sometimes meet men in their eighties that I find incredibly attractive, so Im the opposite of ageist, and I think Ive benefited from that.

In fact, Weavers career in America has defied Hollywoods prevailing M.O. She was in her sixties when she earned her first Oscar nomination, for Animal Kingdom, and has co-starred in a flurry of projects spanning all genres since her second Oscar nomination, for Silver Linings Playbook—including The Disaster Artist, Widows, and Bird Box. Weaver turned down other roles to take Poms, and has a few more projects currently in post-production, including Stage Mother, a film in which her character manages her sons drag club; James Francos period movie Zeroville; and the forthcoming Perpetual Grace, LTD, a 10-part Epix thriller in which Weaver and Ben Kingsley play con artists who use religion to bilk hundreds of people out of their life savings. So, no, Weaver herself hasnt been sweating ageism.

But then, that could be Weavers genes. I am kind of odd-looking, she admitted. When I was a young actor, I was playing children well into my thirties, because I always had a baby face, and I am quite small. And it was very frustrating. Now I think that Ive got more of a choice, now that Im 71—Im still being offered roles of women in their late fifties. I count that as payback for having had to play children into my thirties.

Turning back to Huston, Weavers voice softened with sympathy. Anjelica sounds sad at the moment, I have to say. I think she must be a bit disappointed or she wouldnt be slagging on people for no reason. After a pause, she added: including herself, saying shes an old lady.

It might have been hard for some attendees at this year's Met Gala to put their finger on the definition of this year's theme, camp. But not Janelle Monae. I am camp. Its embedded in my DNA, she said Monday afternoon, hours before before taking the red carpet in a custom Christian Siriano dress—a balloon-hipped confection with a motorized blinking eye over one breast (a twist of gadgetry supplied by Smooth Technology).

If the special effects were nod to her professed love of science fiction, the collaboration with Siriano is also a love letter to one of Monáes favorite artists, Picasso. Particularly, I wanted to highlight Picassos African Period in the early 1900s, she said, referencing the years when the painter took inspiration from tribal masks to create his famously fragmented portraits.

On one side of Monae's look, the palette is buttoned-up black and white, punctuated by a Dietrich-esque red lip; on the other, that robotic eye (a cheeky twist on the female gaze) comes paired with a Barbie-pink flourish. Toying with fashions gender tropes has long been a Monáe signature, as seen in the billowing pompadour and slick tuxedo in the 2010 video for Tightrope. (Tonights hair by Nikki Nelms is topped by a towering stack of hats by Sarah Sokol Millinery.) Its hard not to think of Monáe when you come upon the exhibitions Jean Paul Gaultier couture look from Spring 1998: a classic shirt, tie, and trousers overlaid with a voluminous eighteenth-century-style dress. That sartorial hermaphroditism, as the wall text terms it, is its own take on Cubism: two sides of the masculine/feminine coin on view at once.

For a woman who came out as queer last spring, that kind of fluidity, sartorial and otherwise, grounds Janelle Monáe—onstage and on the red carpet. She is earnest about wanting to stand up for underrepresented communities. But theres pure camp, too. (How else do you characterize those ruffled pussy pants in last years video for Pynk?) As for tonight, shes down to take on flamboyant female-ness (as Susan Sontag put it in her 1964 essay "Notes on Camp"), with a little preening from her trusted team: Nelms, makeup artist Jessica Smalls, manicurist Angie Aguirre, and stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn. The bared skin is gleaming, and the mascara is thick—on both the real lashes and the high-tech simulacrum.

Ever since The Crown debuted on Netflix, audiences have been hungrily anticipating the arrival of Princess Diana, the Peoples Princess and the Palaces most glamorous pot-stirrer. (Even over two years ago, when The Crown was still knee deep in 1950s drama, audiences were begging The Crown mastermind Peter Morgan for a hint as to how long theyd have to wait to see Dianas 1977 meeting with Prince Charles.) And now, dear readers, The Crown has finally cast its Lady Diana Spencer.

On Tuesday, the series announced that it has tapped stunning newcomer Emma Corrin to play the young Princess of Wales-to-be.

The actress is so new to entertainment that she only has three credits listed on her official IMDb page, including the historical drama Misbehaviour—in which Corrin will play Miss South Africa during the 1970 Miss World competition. She will also reportedly star in the Epix series Pennyworth. So until we see her in those, we will just have to take Morgans word that Corrin is perfectly suited for the role.

Emma is a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer, Morgan said in a statement, reported by Variety. As well as having the innocence and beauty of a young Diana, she also has, in abundance, the range and complexity to portray an extraordinary woman who went from anonymous teenager to becoming the most iconic woman of her generation.

Although Morgan has previously teased that Princess Diana might make her debut at the end of the dramas third season, Variety reports that the character indeed will not be introduced until the shows fourth season—a detail seemingly confirmed by Corrin herself.

Beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for its fourth season, the actress said. I have been glued to the show since the first episode and to think Im now joining this incredibly talented acting family is just surreal. Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To be given the chance to explore her through Peter Morgans writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice!

Though Diana will not appear in The Crowns third season, her real-life alleged rival, Camilla Parker Bowles, will. The actress tasked with playing Bowles, Emerald Fennell, told Vanity Fair earlier this month that audiences will get to see Bowless blossoming 1970s friendship with Charles (played by Josh OConnor) in the forthcoming third season of The Crown.

Fennell found those scenes to be different than she expected them to be: I was surprised the most by their relationship when they were really young. I didnt really know that they had a serious relationship that pre-dated their current relationship. I think people will be surprised to learn they experienced great challenges in both their lives, and were able to maintain a strong bond through it all.

The weird thing about Camilla Parker Bowles, theres very, very little about her as a young woman—which is quite freeing, Fennell said. It means that Ive been able to get a sense of her rather than being able to do a mimicry. Theres almost nothing of her. No footage of her voice, and maybe only a handful of photos. So Ive been quite lucky in that regard. I got off fairly lightly.

When Vanity Fair spoke to The Crown casting director Nina Gold last year, she spoke about the difficulty of casting actors to play characters such as Bowles and Diana.

There are so many tiny, intangible signifiers of class and status that we dont even realize, said Gold, referring to everything from diction to posture to manners to attitude. In the 60s and even 70s, the class distinctions were more extreme than they are now. The way the Queen and the royal family and the people around them sounded in the 60s . . . if you were to hear them speak now, it would sound way too much. But we need actors who can speak that way and embrace it, so it sounds authentic coming from them. Its a pretty difficult balance.

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Campy performance art was the main spectacle at this years Met Gala, and the most attention-grabbing looks came with some assistance, from Lady Gagas quick-change magic that featured a four-outfit striptease to Billy Porters grand Egyptian entrance. Zendaya was only accompanied by one person on the carpet, her stylist Law Roach, but she had another secret weapon: electricity.

The actress stepped onto the Met Gala arrivals carpet dressed as Cinderella, with Roach accompanying her as the Fairy Godmother. Once Roach waved his wand, smoke appeared, and Zendayas Tommy Hilfiger gown began to illuminate.

This is the coolest dress I have ever worn, Zendaya said to reporters while walking up the famed museum steps. Its really amazing what it can do!

Katy Perry was also literally lighting up the carpet, wearing a giant crystal-chandelier dress and mini-chandelier on her head. A built-in corset with two hidden battery packs and steel bones allowed her dresss chandelier and the chandelier strapped to her head with faux flames to glow.

I like to be of the light, and obviously be the light, Perry said while taking a brief break from slowly and carefully walking up the museums steps with the assistance from her publicist. Im retiring the word lit tonight! The pop singer revealed that her look, created by Moschino designer Jeremy Scott, a chandelier dress and headpiece, which reportedly weighed 40 pounds due to the Swarovski crystals placed onto the dress and on her head.

Crazy Rich Asians actress Gemma Chan wore an elaborate metal headdress inspired by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1968 drama Boom! Im just trying to walk straight and have good posture. Its like having books on my head, she said of the headpiece while wearing a custom Tom Ford gown covered in crystals. Its quite heavy, and Im going to wear it as long as I can.

Other stars ditched the heavy headwear and preferred sequins and jewels. Kim Kardashian West wore a custom latex Thierry Mugler dress (reportedly his first in nearly 20 years), hung with beads that resembled water droplets. My look tonight is a vision of a California girl stepping out of the ocean and onto the red carpet, Kardashian told reporters.

Bella Hadid arrived in a daring Moschino bejeweled black cutout gown covered with several different colored gems. The 22-year-old arrived with Scott, creative director for Moschino, along with Gwen Stefani, also in Moschino.

I love how amazing these colorful jewels are, Hadid said about her dress. And, of course, you have to have a sexy moment. I feel so sexy in it! Its the most beautiful dress, and I never thought of wearing anything else to the Met Gala.

Dominique Jackson, who plays commanding supreme housemother Elektra Abundance on FXs Pose, made her Met Gala debut in a billowing, ruffled plumed gown with train designed by Victor Glemaud x Saga Furs.

Im so fucking excited to be here, said Jackson, who said her look was inspired by Cher and Old Hollywood. Its ridiculous! Like this little girl from a small island is at the Met Gala. That doesnt happen.

Awkwafina was also a Met Gala first-timer, dressed in a big-shouldered gold dress designed by Altuzarra.

It feels crazy to be here tonight, said Awkwafina. What I love about tonight is playing dress up! I feel perfect in the dress. The dress really encapsulates my personality. Its fun, wild, and pretty. I feel like I could wear this to a lot of events. Its cool and comfortable!

Although her character in Oceans 8 went to the Met Gala and successfully stole jewelry worth millions of dollars with her team, the actress refrained from any criminal activity.

Lady Gaga, why did you do that? On Wednesday night, the singer and newly minted Oscar winner sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to gab about her big night and, more importantly, set a certain record straight. Despite the dizzy response to her and Bradley Coopers extremely sultry performance of Shallow Sunday night, Gaga wanted to make one thing clear: she and Cooper are not in love. They were just, you know, acting.

When Kimmel asked Gaga about the response to the performance—specifically, fans speculation that she and Cooper (who is in a long-term relationship with model Irina Shayk) must be having some sort of affair considering the passion of their performance and Gagas recent breakup with her fiancé—she was unequivocal.

First of all, social media, quite frankly, is the toilet of the Internet, Gaga said. And what it has done to pop culture is abysmal. (Guess she doesnt want to see everyones super-sexy Shallow GIFs.) Yes, people saw love, the singer continued, and guess what? Thats what we wanted you to see. I mean, this is a love song, Shallow. The movie A Star Is Born, its a love story.

Gaga said she and Cooper worked for a week on their performance—and that despite her typical resistance to relinquishing control, she trusted Coopers vision for how the performance should unfold. All of the staging, down to the way the audience was lit, was Coopers idea, according to Gaga. I called Roy Bennett, who I work with and he does my lighting, and I was like, We need to light the entire room with amber lights! Gaga recalled with a laugh. Bradley wants honeycomb, and we gotta give him what he wants!

It was important to both Gaga and Cooper that they be connected throughout their performance—but fans shouldnt read anything into that, the singer said. And as Gaga pointed out, shes had her arms wrapped around frequent collaborator Tony Bennett for three years as theyve toured the world. When youre singing love songs, thats what you want people to feel.

Regardless of how real the feelings shared onstage were, that Oscar performance has inspired a renewed wave of Star Is Born enthusiasm—and now, fans can see the film again in theaters with an added 12 minutes of footage, thanks to a cinematic re-release that will launch Friday and last for one week. Gaga teased the new footage with a brief clip on Kimmel, and noted that shes seen the film in theaters—and had to leave a half hour before the credits rolled because the tragic romances ending was too sad for her to watch. As for real life, however, Im an artist, and I guess we did a good job and fooled you.

As Apple continues to build out the prolific but mysterious programming slate for its new streaming venture, Apple TV+, Oprah Winfrey just handed the company its latest, greatest coup: a team-up with none other than Prince Harry.

On Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex announced—fittingly, via his new joint Instagram account with Meghan Markle—that he and Lady O are collaborating on a new docuseries focused on mental health and wellness, due out in 2020.

We are excited to announce that The Duke of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey are partners, co-creators and executive producers on their forthcoming mental health series launching on Apple in 2020, the announcement states. The pair have been developing the series for several months and are looking forward to sharing such an important project on this global platform. The series aspires to [inspire] viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces, and how to equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive.

As the announcement notes, mental-health advocacy has long been an important cause for Prince Harry, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton. Prince Harry has been candid about his own experience with therapy and grief following the tragic and sudden death of his mother, Princess Diana. As the statement puts it, His Royal Highness has spent many years working with communities throughout the UK and young people across the Commonwealth to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and broaden the conversation of mental wellness to accelerate change for a more compassionate, connected and positive society.

Added Prince Harry himself, I truly believe that good mental health—mental fitness—is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times. Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive—sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better. I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.

Winfrey, who attended Prince Harrys wedding to Meghan last year and was particularly inspired by the event, naturally made sure to reply to the new shows announcement: Delighted to be partnering with you, she commented on Instagram. Hope we shed a lot of Light. And change some lives!

Although Apples TV offerings will include plenty of big names—including Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Aniston, J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, Sofia Coppola, and plenty more—its multi-year partnership with Winfrey is indisputably its biggest get. She was also by far the most dynamic presence at the companys big TV event in March, where she promised content that would help bring people together. The Apple platform allows me to do what I do in a whole new way, Winfrey said at the time. Theyre in a billion pockets, yall. A billion pockets. And now Prince Harry will be, too.

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Its barely May, and Regina King has already had a banner year. She took home her first Oscar, was named one of Times 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and now, on the first Monday in May, shes headed to the Met Gala dressed in a shimmering gold Oscar de la Renta gown.

Would you believe that she claimed she was worried about getting lost among the stars at the biggest fashion parade of the year? Oh gosh. I just hope I dont get lost in the shuffle, King told Vanity Fair. The Met Ball is so huge and you want to have some type of presence. You dont want to wake up the next day and no one knows you went because there are no pictures of you anywhere.

The flood of star power at the Met is indeed overwhelming at times, but having gone through the months-long awards season, King shouldnt have much trouble navigating. The real challenge for most with this years Met Gala is the theme, Camp: Notes on Fashion, after Susan Sontags 1964 essay Notes on Camp. The theme has puzzled the peanut gallery in the lead-up to tonights festivities, but finding a cultural reference point to serve as a style muse was fairly straightforward for King.

When the If Beale Street Could Talk star first heard the theme, she asked herself what the most glamorous version of camp would be. First thing that came to mind was Dynasty, she said. Her style team relayed the message to Oscar de la Rentas design team, who had reached further back in Americas entertainment industry to Busby Berkeley, the legendary 1930s choreographer, for their own inspiration. They are different eras, but tonally they are similar, King said. The houses co-designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim added that the look is inspired by Nina Mae McKinney, an American actor from the 1930s who got her start on Broadway and starred in the film Hallelujah.

They folded two eras into one with, well, a lot of sequins. Reginas gown is incredibly sculptural, inside and out, Garcia and Kim said. Its built with double corsetry under lamé with Vermicelli sequining, crystals, and glass silver-lined caviar beads inside metallic cup sequins. The embroidery is dégradé from top to bottom and ombré from warm gold to rose gold—almost undetectably, but it really adds to the dimension and luster of the piece. Gold crinoline netting is framed, accordion-pleated, strip-sewn together, and draped over one shoulder.

Once every angle and pose are hit, and all the photos race across the Internet, King will be free to dine alongside Garcia and Kim, and the other guests who breathe the rarified air in the Mets Temple of Dendur every year. Who is King most excited to see? Probably Rihanna, she said, adding, Hopefully Beyoncé will make an appearance. I just want the opportunity to tell her how amazing and inspiring she is. She hears it all the time, but the couple of times Ive seen her I dont think I told her that. It would make me very happy if I get the opportunity to tell her that.

This years Met Gala gave us so much. It gave us Lizzo walking through the airport in her Met Gala cape. It gave us Natasha Lyonnes pill purse full of cigarettes. It gave us Joan Collins reprising her Dynasty role.

It also gave us some cursed images, like Jeff Bezos chatting with Kim Kardashian West while Jared Letos severed head makes eye contact with the camera. Farewell, good nights of sleep. So long, sweet dreams. Forever shall we be haunted by Letos head watching us watch the founder of Amazon say hi to his future attorney, Kardashian West, while her husband, Kanye West, greets the heads owner, Jared Leto.

Bezos was in New York with his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, and though its not clear from pictures whether Sanchez attended the gala, they did go out to dinner the night prior. Probably for the best. It would have upstaged the attempts at camp. It would have distracted from this particular meet and greet.

As Beyoncé famously said about a Met Gala incident from five years ago, Of course sometimes shit goes down when its a billion dollars on an elevator. And it would seem that fun with severed heads and Kardasho-Jenners is what happens when, like, $165 billion shakes hands.

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As the Met Gala wound down on Monday night—all sorts of debates as to whether or not particular attendees achieved looks embodying Camp still swirling—the models and actors and pop stars descended upon a range of after-parties, many of them changing into different (equally campy!) looks for the next stage of the night.

Gucci held its after-party blocks away from the Met, in the Hunter College gymnasium, which had been converted into a dance floor for the occasion. Guests—in their formalwear, red carpet looks—were escorted down the bleachers onto the basketball court, giving the party the feel of a surreal high-school prom, though one where everyones skin was glistening and the majority were wearing ornate headpieces.

Harry Styles—who had changed into a look featuring a floppy red bow tie—hung by the bar, as Emma Stone sat with Carey Mulligan in a nook to the side of the court (Stone was joined by boyfriend Dave McCary). Wendi Murdoch made a grand entrance, beaming as she arrived at the gymnasium, followed shortly by Seth Meyers (sporting a red sash) and his wife, Alexi. Richard Madden and Taron Egerton—soon to appear as co-stars in Rocketman—chatted animatedly on the dance floor, as Justin Theroux walked past, eventually joining Stone and Mulligan.

Karlie Kloss, flanked by husband Joshua Kushner, chatted with Dasha Zhukova and other friends, only feet away from the Olsen twins, who held court not too far from Alexander Skarsgård, moving through the room, as well as a dancing Darren Criss, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Rock, all in various conversations. Perhaps the most commotion on the bleachers came when Katy Perry arrived. The pop star—who dressed as an illuminated chandelier for the red carpet itself—changed into a hamburger outfit for the after-party. She somehow made her way through the crowded party—white T-shirted men stationed to hand out hors doeuvres around every bend—without too much trouble. Near her, an unlikely squad formed of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, along with recent Oscar winner Rami Malek, who led them to the bar, and Demi Moore. (Moore seemed particularly close to Cyrus, her co-star in the 2012 movie LOL, and Hemsworth.)

Across the city, on the west side and downtown, Idris Elba arrived at the Boom Boom Room, at the Top of the Standard, with wife Sabrina, at about 1 A.M., to co-host their after-party. Henry Golding, Michael B. Jordan, Edward Enninful—yep, theres Skarsgård and Theroux again, too!—filed in shortly thereafter to celebrate.

And the night wound down at Up & Down, the site of Rihannas after-party last year. Rihanna did not attend the event this year, and the soiree—sponsored by Casamigos Tequila and Kurvana—was co-hosted by the fivesome of Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, Travis Scott, La La Anthony, and Trevor Noah. Kim and Kanye West huddled near the D.J. booth, sitting up against the wall, Kim wearing a silver bob wig for this portion of the evening. They were surrounded by a group of friends, as well as Kims sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner—both in new outfits, Kylie in a different blue wig—and friends, Gigi and Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber.

Attendants passed around McDonalds fries, as a variety of guests mingled—Natasha Lyonne and Tracee Ellis Ross conversed in the front of the club, near Noah. Julian Edelman caught up with Michael B. Jordan, both wearing sweatshirts, as Jordan eventually made his way into the back of the club, where he caught up with Lena Waithe and Janelle Monáe. And Jared Leto attracted a glut of attention, in the middle of the club, as he sat one banquette away from Williams, and her husband, Alexis Ohanian. Leto attended the event with a bust of his own head, and several partygoers asked for a selfie or photograph with Letos Leto head.

Kim and Kanye departed the party at about 2 A.M. shortly after the D.J. played Wests song, Ni–as in Paris. About an hour later, Leto left with his head.

If Donald Trump truly does not see Joe Biden as an existential threat, he sure has a funny way of showing it. The extremely chill president cant seem to stop talking about the current Democratic frontrunner, firing off an extraordinary 60 tweets and retweets Wednesday lashing out at Uncle Joe—to the reported chagrin of some of his advisers, and the apparent delight of Biden himself. I understand the president tweeted a lot about me this morning and for a while, the Biden said at a campaign stop in Iowa Wednesday. I wonder why the hell hes doing that.

Trump has insisted that hes unfazed by Biden, quipping that the ex-veep is only a threat to himself, and bestowing upon him one of his trademark nicknames: Sleepy Joe. As is always the case with Trump, though, his actions betray his true feelings. Even before his unglued tweet storm, the president was taking shots at Bidens intelligence and age. I am a young, vibrant man, Trump pronounced last week in what may be the least-true remark of his lie-filled presidency. I look at Joe, I dont know about him.

Trumps Twitter tantrum this week confirmed the obvious, and reportedly put a number of his advisers on edge. Ive personally asked him to stop, one Trump adviser told Politico Wednesday. Its not helping us. Its helping Biden. The fear among aides is that Trumps tweets legitimize Biden as an opponent. We dont think Biden can make it out of the woke Democrat primary, the official said. But he will if the president gives him oxygen.

Unfortunately for Jared, Trump has always had those qualities in precisely the opposite proportions, bringing chaos to everything he touches and seemingly motivated by a debilitating insecurity. Some in Trumps orbit, of course, see the presidents willingness to pound Biden early as a strength, rather than a weakness: Why not weigh in and help frame the debate? Jason Miller, one of Trumps 2016 flunkies, told Politico. Others, however, worry the presidents obvious terror could be a turnoff. He believes his tweets have power, but Biden just irritates him. I imagine at the end of the day hell move on to someone else. We hope he does, a second Trump adviser told Politico. Im sure smart guys like Brad [Parscale] are telling him to stop this and hes telling them to go fuck themselves.

— Cover story: Nicole Kidman reflects on her career, marriage, faith, and texting with Meryl Streep

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly is finally free from the task of babysitting Donald Trump and the barrel of monkeys known as his administration. And though he holds no ill will toward the president himself, as he recently affirmed at Anthony Scaramuccis annual SALT conference in Las Vegas, that doesnt mean hes forgiven the rest of the Trump crew. They were an influence that has to be dealt with, he told Bloomberg Televisions David Rubenstein on Tuesday, quickly adding: By no means do I mean Mrs. [Melania] Trump—the First Ladys a wonderful person.

Less wonderful in Kellys book? Presidential favorite Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who not only serve as official advisers to the president, but also hold enormous sway over his decisions. Anyone tuned into the West Wing soap opera is familiar with the enmity that sprung up between Kelly and Javanka. Though the first daughter and her husband were initially enthusiastic at the idea of Kelly as chief of staff, counting on him to professionalize an operation that had run amok under the leadership of Reince Priebus, things went south after Kelly downgraded Kushners security clearance, and Trump reportedly asked Kelly to figure out how to get his kids back to New York, far away from the bloodthirsty media. (Ivankas still his little girl, one source told The Washington Post of Trumps desire to protect his senior adviser.)

That, of course, didnt pan out. And as the months stretched on, the situation devolved into full-on warfare, inflamed by various reports that Javanka wanted Kelly gone. As my colleague Gabriel Sherman reported in September, the two believed Kelly was behind a brutal op-ed in The New York Times that claimed there was a Trump resistance in the White House. Hes destroying your presidency, Ivanka allegedly told her father of Kelly, who reportedly complained to co-workers about Ivanka freelancing on pet projects rather than abiding by her dads priorities. (In public the two parties praised each other as lavishly as possible, with Kelly saying in a statement that he had full confidence in Kushners ability to handle foreign policy.)

If you get your news exclusively from @realDonaldTrumps Twitter feed, you might be under the impression that the president received Total EXONERATION from the results of the special counsels investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Of course, on planet Earth, that is not at all the case. While Robert Mueller did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to an extent he could prove in a criminal case, the report laid out numerous instances of extremely shady behavior. Moreover, Mueller added that had certain witnesses actually cooperated, he mightve been able to obtain information [that] would [have] shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report, i.e., that the two parties conspired to influence the election. Notably, Mueller also wrote that, despite Trumps claims to the contrary, the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion, a deeply troubling statement for people who care about democracy, free and fair elections, and so on and so forth. Yet according to one senior White House official, what Russia did was N.B.D. compared to this Bob Mueller hack.

Speaking at a Time 100 event, First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner acknowledged that while a foreign government trying to meddle in another countrys election is a terrible thing, when it comes down to it, Russia didnt really do anything that bad relative to the special counsels investigation, i.e., the real threat to democracy. You look at what Russia did, buying some Facebook ads to try to sow dissent, and do it, and its a terrible thing, Kushner said, but I think the investigations and all of the speculation thats happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads. I think they said they spent about $160,000. I spent $160,000 on Facebook every three hours during the campaign. If you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, I think the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful to our country.

Claiming that all Russia did was buy a couple of Facebook ads is, obviously, downplaying its actions significantly, and kind of like saying All Jim Jones ever did was mix some drinks. But having established that if he, personally, was going to meddle in an election, hed spend a lot more than $160,000 on the effort, Kushner went on to make another incredible claim. Asked why the Trump camp didnt rebuff the Kremlins attempts to throw the election in his father-in-laws favor, Kushner said, We didnt know that Russia was doing what they were doing. The notion of what they were doing didnt even register to us as being impactful. That doesnt exactly truck with the fact that the Boy Prince of New Jersey was one of the attendees at the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, which was arranged on the basis of Russians having incriminating information about Hillary Clinton as part of Russia and its governments support for Mr. Trump, which Kushner probably knew because he was forwarded the e-mails saying as much.

Anyway, the good news is that the audience of one for whom Kushners remarks were intended thought he did a great job. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

The Treasury Department declined to turn over President Trumps tax returns by a Tuesday deadline set by a key House Democrat, a decision that escalates a battle over the documents and could prompt a court fight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expected to provide a final answer on whether to turn the documents over by May 6, in a letter that outlined concerns that the request is designed to expose private information. History demonstrates that private tax return information is susceptible to abuse for partisan purposes—regardless of which party is in power, Mr. Mnuchin wrote in a letter to Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Unless carefully restrained by law, this risk threatens the privacy of all taxpayers.

Democrats see a simple statute being ignored. If Mr. Mnuchin doesnt turn over the documents, he is likely engaged in the most serious executive branch defiance of law since the Nixon Administration, Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary, wrote on Twitter. It could now take months for the legal process to unfold, and both sides seem dug in. Judges will look, in part, to a 1957 case in which the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a man who had refused to answer some questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee.

For its part, the White House on Tuesday revived the lie that Trump is totally going to voluntarily release his tax returns after his routine audit is complete. Once hes out of audit, hell think about doing it, spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News. But hes not inclined to do so at this time. Despite what the haters and losers will tell you, he added, There is nothing nefarious there at all. This was litigated in 2016.

Vice President Mike Pence has filed three tax returns since taking office, but he hasnt publicly released any of them. As Democrats fight with President Trump about his unreleased tax returns amid a key deadline Tuesday, the vice presidents decision to keep his own recent tax documents under wraps has gotten far less attention. It is just as much of a break from his predecessors: Going back to Walter Mondale in the 1970s, all have disclosed their returns. Mr. Pence released 10 years of returns through 2015 during the presidential campaign.

Mr. Pences office has said that he is following Mr. Trumps lead by refusing to release returns until audits are finished and has repeatedly declined to answer questions about the status of the audits.

Ill start tweeting rambling, incoherent statements in the early hours of the morning, too, if you think itll take the heat off ya, boss, is something Pence has not reportedly said of late though presumably hed be willing to do so in a heartbeat.

And definitely a good use of time for someone currently serving as the C.E.O. of two public companies:

President Trump on Tuesday met privately with Twitter [and Square] C.E.O. Jack Dorsey, a huddle at the White House between one of the sites most prolific users and an executive whos faced criticism for the way Twitter has handled the presidents tweets . . . A significant portion of the meeting focused on Trumps concerns that Twitter quietly, and deliberately, had removed some of his followers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversation who requested anonymity because it was private.

In a statement, Twitter told The Washington Post that the meeting—initiated by Trump—focused on protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections—which you know is something the president cares deeply about—and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis, which Jared Kushner is said to be solving right after he wraps up peace in the Middle East.

Tobacco company Philip Morris starts life insurance firm that offers discounts to smokers who quit (CNBC)

Six Trump Interior appointees are being investigated for possible ethical misconduct (The Washington Post)

They asked artificial intelligence to create a new game. One of its first ideas involved exploding Frisbees. (Washington Post)

— Cover story: Nicole Kidman reflects on her career, marriage, faith, and texting with Meryl Streep

On the eve of his 2017 inauguration, Donald Trump made what might have been one of his boldest declarations to date—and that includes the one about how he invented the phrase prime the pump. Speaking at a black-tie dinner, the president-elect told the assembled group that despite decades of strife and years of failed attempts by people with deep expertise on the matter, hed finally found the guy who was going to bring peace to the Middle East: his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, of the New Jersey Kushners. If you cant produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can, Trump told his favorite kids husband. All my life, Ive been hearing thats the toughest deal to make, but I have a feeling Jared is going to do a great job. Given Kushners utter lack of foreign-policy experience, his deep financial ties to Israel, and his inability to secure a security clearance without his wifes father demanding it, the idea that he would be the Middle Easts saving grace was initially met with a mixture of bewilderment and the sort of double-over laughter that typically precedes the question, Youre shitting me, right?

Two years later, that feeling has only intensified, given that 1) the relevant stakeholders have been totally kept in the dark on the particulars of Kushners plan, and 2) the details that have leaked are completely insane. To which Kushner has said: please, lets not prejudge.

Speaking to about 100 ambassadors from across the globe at Blair House on Wednesday, Kushner urged the group to keep an open mind about his plan, which could be unveiled in June. We will all have to look for reasonable compromises that will make peace achievable, Kushner said, according to Reuters. You might forgive the assembled diplomats for not being super jazzed about what Kushners got in store. During a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month, King Abdullah II of Jordan—which borders the West Bank and has a majority-Palestinian population—reportedly told lawmakers that hed been given zero visibility into the most fraught part of the plan, i.e., how it proposes to divide Israeli and Palestinian territory. (You know, minor details.) According to two sources who spoke with Axios, the king seemed dissatisfied with the level of consultation and was pessimistic about the plans prospects, having privately told people he is frustrated by the fact that despite having numerous meetings with senior Trump administration officials, hes never been given any detail about the core political issues, in which Jordan has a huge interest.

Keeping key parties in the dark appears to be by design; last December, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in an interview that he hadnt met with Kushner in over a year and called the Boy Prince of New Jersey little more than a glorified real-estate agent, which, to be fair, is more or less accurate. Indeed, based on drafts of the plan that have leaked, Kushner appears to view this whole peace thing as little more than another real-estate deal. According to journalist Vicky Ward, whose book Kushner, Inc. was released last month, Kushners plan to end conflict in the Middle East allegedly involves requiring the Saudis and Emiratis to provide economic assistance to the Palestinians and a series of Byzantine land swaps.

Ward wrote, There were plans for an oil pipeline from Saudi Arabia to Gaza, where refineries and a shipping terminal could be built. The profits would create desalination plants, where Palestinians could find work, addressing the high unemployment rate. . . . The plan also included land swaps, where Jordan would give land to the Palestinian territories, and in return, Jordan would get land from Saudi Arabia, and that country would get back two Red Sea islands it gave Egypt to administer in 1950.

Notably, the supposed draft of the proposal as detailed by Ward says nothing of any significant concessions by Kushners longtime pal Benjamin Netanyahu.

White House peace envoy Jason Greenblatt has denied Wards claims, for whatever thats worth. But regardless of whether the final plan is similar to the one described in Kushner, Inc., world leaders are deeply skeptical, particularly as they view the whole thing as more of an economic deal. On Tuesday, new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told reporters that Kushners proposal will be born dead and that there are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump.

Deripaska has vowed to disprove the filthy lies he says were used to justify his blacklisting by the U.S., stepping up a fight with Washington that will intensify scrutiny of the Trump administrations approach to Russia. The Russian aluminium-to-automobiles oligarch, who was placed under crippling sanctions last April over alleged links to the Kremlin, is suing the U.S. government in a bid to overturn measures that made him an international business pariah. Mr Deripaskas lawyers are also set to launch a $600,000 prize fund this week to encourage journalists to dig into why he was sanctioned, claiming the U.S. authorities were influenced by domestic political factors, people with knowledge of the project told the Financial Times.

Congress wants more blood . . . [but] Congress has no idea what is going on in Russia, or anywhere in the world, Deripaska told the F.T. There are no facts, no grounds, just filthy lies. . . . Congress was misinformed . . . they were driven by a vendetta, by revenge, he said. It was the wrong impression that hurting private business in Russia would solve some problem . . . it is completely the opposite.

Intimidation of undocumented immigrants not the only reason Trumps citizenship census question is a terrible idea

It would also reportedly cost U.S. businesses a large chunk of change, something you might expect the C.E.O. president to understand:

An array of U.S. companies have told the Trump administration that a citizenship question on the 2020 census would harm business if it leads to an undercount of immigrants, undermining the data they use to place stores, plan inventory, and plot ad campaigns. . . .The census is used to draw voting districts and divide some $800 billion in federal programs. For companies, it provides the most detailed picture available of consumer and labor markets. Under the administrations proposal, the census would ask whether respondents are citizens of the United States for the first time in 70 years.

Clothes-maker Levi Strauss & Co., transport companies Uber Technologies, Inc. and Lyft, Inc., and media group Univision Communications Inc. are among a handful of companies supporting that lawsuit. In court documents, they said the citizenship question threatens to undermine (the) reliability of census data and therefore substantially reduce its value to businesses.

While corporations and business groups are reluctant to enter the political turmoil surrounding the citizenship question on the 2020 census, they nonetheless depend heavily on accurate census data for their operations, DeVere Kutscher, executive director of the Census Business Coalition, told Reuters.

Mick Mulvaney might have left the building, but his goal of destroying the agency designed to protect consumers lives on:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will unveil debt-collection rules in a few weeks, the agencys director said Wednesday, potentially unleashing a battle over the industrys tactics and consumers rights. The proposal, which would be the first update to the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act in more than 40 years, will address how often debt collectors can call someone and the industrys use of e-mails or text messages, C.F.P.B. Director Kathy Kraninger said. The C.F.P.B. will modernize the legal regime for debt collection, Kraninger said in her first major speech since becoming the bureaus director in December.

The $11 billion industry has been anxiously awaiting the proposal, hopeful the Trump administration would set out clear rules, including allowing debt collectors to e-mail and text consumers. Consumer advocates, meanwhile, have asked the C.F.P.B. to stop debt collectors from harassing consumers and collecting on zombie debts.

In her speech, Kraninger said the C.F.P.B. cannot be everywhere, with everyone, at every transaction—nor should it try to be. Empowering consumers to help themselves, protect their own interests . . . is vital to preventing consumer harm and building financial well-being. In reality, strong regulations like the ones Kraninger and her predecessor have whacked away at are the things that prevent consumer harm, and empowering consumers is just something Ayn Rand acolytes like to say as they embolden debt collectors and payday lenders, the latter of whom are presumably thrilled by Kraningers proposal to roll back rules that would require they verify customers can actually afford to pay back their high-interest loans. According to The Washington Post, Kraninger has also endorsed Mulvaneys decision to end the C.F.P.B.s practice of pre-emptively verifying that companies are in compliance with the Military Lending Act—which protects service members and their families from financial fraud—because this administration loves the troops.

Wall Street and finance execs spread their donations across the 2020 Democratic field in the first quarter (CNBC)

There was some confusion inside the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh before Jared Kushner arrived in Saudi Arabia in February. Washington was still reeling from the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which had thrown an unexpected wrench into an already tense U.S.-Saudi relationship, and diplomats were still navigating the aftershocks. Ordinarily, embassy staff would be intimately involved in organizing the details of such a trip. But Kushners schedule with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was largely a mystery. In fact, a source familiar with the planning told me, the royal court, not the U.S. Embassy, was arranging Kushners itinerary. According to the source, an embassy notetaker was also not present in Kushners meetings with King Salman and the crown prince, nor was the embassy briefed on what the presidents son-in-law discussed behind closed doors.

The semi-surreptitious visit is the most recent of several remarkable episodes involving Kushner that are now being investigated by congressional Democrats. Their guiding hypothesis is that Kushners diplomatic naïveté and close relationship with bin Salman, better known as M.B.S., might put U.S. national security at risk. Im not only troubled—I am stunned by the friendship, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern told me. It looks bad. It smells bad. It is bad.

The Kushner-M.B.S. bromance, which has been a source of intrigue and consternation dating back to the earliest days of Donald Trumps presidency, is of particular interest to Congressman Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. At the end of last month, Engel sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting documents and records related to Kushners February trip to Saudi Arabia, including any handwritten notes related to any meetings attended by Brian Hook, the sole State Department official included in Kushners delegation. The goal, a congressional staffer told me, is to glean any insight into what Kushner discussed with M.B.S. and other foreign officials.

The State Department missed the deadline this past Friday to provide the information and documents requested by the committee, according to the first congressional source. In a statement to the Daily Beast, which first reported that the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh had been left in the dark about Kushners trip, a senior administration official said, This reporting is not true, and the sources are misinformed.

On Capitol Hill, however, concerns about Kushners diplomatic freelancing are widespread. I think people deal with him because he is the presidents son-in-law, a second congressional aide told me. But that familial back channel to Trump also leaves the U.S. government vulnerable. As The New York Times has reported, M.B.S. marked Kushner early on as a potentially malleable asset for advancing Saudi interests in Washington. [Trumps] inner circle is predominantly deal makers who lack familiarity with political customs and deep institutions, and they support Jared Kushner, a delegation of Saudi officials, sent to the U.S. in November 2016, wrote in a slide presentation obtained by the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar. The Saudi crown prince later boasted that he had Kushner in his pocket, according to the Intercept.

No one is impressed that he is friends with M.B.S. No one cares. It is a bad thing, the second congressional aide said, adding that Kushners trust in the crown prince makes him look completely out of his depth. Shortly after Kushners first surprise trip to Saudi Arabia, for instance, in October 2017, M.B.S. initiated a sweeping crackdown on his political rivals, imprisoning more than 30 Saudi elites at the Ritz-Carlton, reportedly torturing some of them, and allegedly kidnapping Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. (The Saudi government has denied allegations of torture and abuse during the anti-corruption proceedings.) Defenders of the U.S.-Saudi alliance, including Kushner, Trump, and Pompeo, argue that these are the realpolitik costs of containing Iran and resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But critics of the administration say the White House is getting played. [A relationship with M.B.S.] does not mean that you are going to be the guy who is going to bring Middle East peace, the congressional aide said. It is an embarrassment.

As is the case with his father-in-law, Kushners reluctance to provide a window into his interactions with M.B.S. has raised questions as to what, if anything, he may be trying to hide. Some Democrats have pointed to Kushner family businesses, including Thrive Capital and Cadre, that courted Saudi money. Others have highlighted financial entanglements, including the Kushner familys underwater mortgage on 666 Fifth Avenue, which was bailed out by a Qatari-connected asset-management company in August. In its sweeping document request to 81 individuals, agencies, and entities earlier this year, the House Judiciary Committee included a request for Kushner to provide information related to his business interests. Last week, House lawmakers launched an investigation into how Kushner obtained a high-level security clearance after reportedly being red-flagged for significant disqualifying factors on his résumé.

This all comes back to giant questions about the president and his family and his businesss conflicts of interest, and to what end policy decisions are being made—whether it is to advance American interests or some other interests, the first congressional aide told me. There is this total lack of transparency and lack of understanding about what he is doing, how he is doing it, what his charge is—you know, you name it. He is like an ambassador without a portfolio.

House Democrats are particularly worried that some of the conversations between Kushner and M.B.S. may have occurred outside of official channels, not only breaking protocol, but potentially leaving the U.S. exposed to unknown security threats. Congressman Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, revealed in a letter last month that his panel is investigating whether Kushner may have violated the Presidential Records Act by using the encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)

As I have previously reported, Kushners use of WhatsApp to communicate with M.B.S. has been a point of contention within the administration. According to one former administration official, H.R. McMaster, Trumps former national-security adviser, raised his concerns with Kushner, who eventually began providing screenshots of his conversations with M.B.S. Even after Kushner made this shift, however, it was still unclear whether he was providing the entirety of the conversations to the National Security Council. I dont think it was their entire conversation. He would selectively send things, the official explained, noting that Kushner may have just been providing exchanges of substance. You would see the screenshots. You would see that there were things above and below it that you hadnt seen earlier. So it is definitely not all-encompassing . . . Undoubtedly, it would be beneficial to the U.S. government to have a full picture of how these conversations were going.

Few Democrats are inclined to give Kushner the benefit of the doubt. I dont trust this president, or anybody who works with him. These people lie every single day—and multiple times a day. I wouldnt trust them to tell me the correct time, never mind turn over screenshots of what was sent to the Saudi crown prince or anybody else, Congressman McGovern told me. I think their M.O. is to do things that are wrong and inappropriate, and lie about it. And if they get found out, they lie about it even more.

In 1868, President Andrew Johnson found himself impeached and on trial before the U.S. Senate. Over the course of his term, he had essentially declared war on his own government, vetoing an outrageous 29 bills, firing officials without Senate permission, and pardoning old pals. Congress fought back: 15 vetoes were overridden, and after a nearly three-month trial Abe Lincolns successor barely escaped conviction. The question of whether a president could govern while being on trial was a hot topic, writes Jared Cohen in Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America, out this month from Simon & Schuster. Johnson clearly thought he could.

Accidental Presidents—which focuses on the eight men who assumed the office after their predecessors died—is littered with such germane lines. Recounting then vice president Chester Arthurs electioneering on behalf of James A. Garfield, Cohen writes that Arthur couldnt resist the urge to flaunt some of the shadier practices used to win. Other chapters flick at familiar themes: trust busting, scandal wrangling, and brawls that read like highbrow TMZ (William O. Butler lunged toward Thomas D. Arnold of Tennessee, choking him until his tongue protruded down to his cravat). Yes, were polarized right now, Cohen, C.E.O. of the tech incubator Jigsaw and a former adviser to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, tells VANITY FAIR. Yes, politics is tense. But history helps us realize that were actually—probably—going to be O.K.

The book is also a reminder that, when it came to succession, Americas founders basically winged it. If you think about how much we leave to chance, the fact that only Andrew Johnson was a disaster is really quite the miracle, Cohen says. Something to keep in mind for 2020? Perhaps. Until we start thinking of our vice president as someone who can be president, I dont believe that mentality will change.

Quick: Your father (and father-in-law) has just been elected president of the United States in part by claiming that his opponent was unfit to run the country because she sent e-mails from a private account while serving as secretary of state, an offense so grave that he insisted she should go to jail for it. Youve just landed a job in the White House that the haters say you in no way deserve, one because of your utter lack of qualifications, and two because of a sense that youre only in it to enrich yourself. How do you prove them wrong? If youre Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the answer, of course, is to conduct official business over private e-mail and messaging platforms like WhatsApp, including reported correspondence with dictators the C.I.A. says ordered the assassination of a U.S. resident. Then, to really show em, you refuse to comply with government requests for information re: your conduct, which, as a reminder, is the same conduct President Daddy said made Hillary Clinton a criminal. Per NBC News:

House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings is giving the White House a final chance to voluntarily comply with his investigation into the use of private email accounts by Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and other White House officials before resorting to alternative means to obtain the information. In a letter sent Thursday to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings accused the White House of obstructing his committees work and called the officials practices a potential violation of federal records laws.

Among the committees concerns, according to Cummings letter, is an admission by Kushners attorney, Abbe Lowell, that Kushner has been using the messaging application WhatsApp as part of his official White House duties to communicate with foreign leaders. Its unclear whether the communications may have contained classified information. In the letter, Cummings asks that Cipollone indicate by March 28 whether the White House will comply voluntarily.

Jared and Ivanka, you may recall, only received top-secret security clearance last summer because Trump overrode the concerns of the F.B.I., his then-chief of staff, and the then-White House counsel. Among the concerns over Kushner gaining access to top-secret information were questions about his foreign and business contacts, which intelligence officials worried made him a target ripe for manipulation. So its definitely not at all concerning that hes reportedly been chatting with foreign governments—some of whom have bragged about having Kushner in their pocket—on the D.L. (In response to Cummingss letter, Lowell disputed the congressmans recollection of their conversation, saying hed told lawmakers, If there was a question about Jareds use of WhatsApp, that is a question for White House counsel, not me. Lowell also claimed that when he said Ivanka continued to use private e-mail to conduct official business, he was talking about the period before September 2017.)

Outside of Javankas electronic communications, other areas of concern for Cummings include former deputy national security advisor K.T. McFarland using a private e-mail account to discuss selling nukes to Saudi Arabia, an idea that reportedly came from from her disgraced ex-boss, Mike Flynn:

Cummings also told Cipollone that the committee obtained a document showing that McFarland was using an AOL.com account to conduct official White House business. Cummings said the document shows that McFarland was in communication with Tom Barrack, a longtime Trump confidant and the chairman of the presidents Inaugural Committee, about transferring sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

Cummings has requested the relevant documents be handed over to his committee no later than April 4. Were sure the First Daughter and Son-in-Law have told West Wing staff to give the Congressman everything he needs.

I told him, I can donate but I dont think I can raise you money today. The sense were getting [from other donors] is yes, hes a good guy and everybody knows him, but he has run for president a couple times and it didnt always work out, a billionaire financier, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told CNBC. I think with Biden theres a feeling of I like him, hes a really good guy, but hed be running at a moment in time that a 76-year-old white guy may not be what voters want. I dont want to give chits today for Joe. Whats my benefit?

Facebook stored up to 600 million user account passwords without encryption and viewable as plain text to tens of thousands of company employees, according to a report Thursday by cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs.

Facebook confirmed the report in a blog post. Facebook shares were down less than 1 percent Thursday. The Irish Data Protection Commission, which administers the European Unions General Data Protection Regulation, or G.D.P.R., also said Thursday that Facebook had reached out over the issue: We are currently seeking further information, the commission said in a statement.

Facebook claimed in a statement that it came across the problem on its own during a routine security review back in January, though, strangely, it only said Thursday that it now plans to start notifying those affected so they can change their passwords.

For Donald Trump, perhaps the most chilling moment in the Mueller report occurs on page 446, where the special counsel reveals that he has referred a total of 14 potential cases to other prosecutors. Because while Robert Mueller was given a limited mandate to investigate the Trump-Russia affair, special counsel investigations have a habit of unearthing other, unrelated criminality in the process. Perhaps that is why, when Trump first learned that Mueller had been appointed, according to the report, he slumped back in his chair and exclaimed, Im fucked.

What flashed through Trumps mind in that moment—his sprawling business empire, his byzantine taxes, his hush-money payments to a porn star—is unknown. Indeed, 12 of the 14 referrals that Mueller outsourced were redacted and remain shrouded in secrecy. (The two public referred cases involve Michael Cohen, the presidents former fixer, and a false-statement case against Democratic attorney and lobbyist Gregory Craig.) But, with investigations churning in Congress, in New York, and in Washington, D.C., it is clear that Trumps nightmare is just beginning. Below is an accounting of the known legal threats Trumpworld has yet to grapple with.

As previously noted, Mueller referred the criminal case against Cohen to the Southern District of New York. Among a series of charges related to financial fraud and lying to Congress, S.D.N.Y. also prosecuted the former Trump lawyer for violations of campaign-finance laws stemming from a hush-money payment he made to Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors said in court documents that Cohen acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1—Donald J. Trump.

With top Trump Organization officials under scrutiny and the presidents role in the payment scheme well-documented, Trump and his associates are hardly clear of potential legal risk—especially after the president leaves office, and is no longer protected from prosecution. As a Republican close to the White House recently told my colleague Gabriel Sherman, The time bomb has never been Mueller. Its the S.D.N.Y.

Since at least July of last year, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has been investigating the now defunct Trump Foundation, the presidents eponymous charity, reportedly for potential violations of Empire State tax regulations. Following a deep dive by The New York Times into the Trump familys tax history last fall, the department announced it was also taking a closer look at various claims made in the article. The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the N.Y.T. article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation, a spokesman for the agency said.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who took office in January, has continued to pursue her offices lawsuit against the Trump Foundation for allegations of violating state and federal charity laws. But shes also taken an aggressive stance toward the Trump Organization. In response to allegations Cohen made while testifying in front of the House Oversight committee that Trump inflated and deflated the value of his assets to suit his bottom line, Jamess office subpoenaed financial records from Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank relating to a series of Trump Organization real-estate projects and the presidents failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills football team.

President Trumps inaugural committee has drawn the scrutiny of the S.D.N.Y. and U.S. attorneys offices in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. Investigators are probing whether foreign money was routed through the committee, along with allegations of influence peddling. At least one plea deal from Sam Patten, an American lobbyist, has stemmed from the inquiries into the inauguration. Patten pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act. And as my colleague Emily Jane Fox has reported, the Trump family was involved in planning the event.

While the Mueller investigation has reached its conclusion, intelligence committees in the House and the Senate continue to probe Russian interference in the 2016 election and contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians. And since Democrats won the House, they have opened numerous inquiries into the presidents behavior, his familys business dealings, his finances, White House procedures, and the administrations foreign policy. Already, subpoena fights loom over the White House security-clearance process, with a specific focus on the clearances of Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka; Trumps tax returns, which he has refused to release; the Trump Organizations finances; and private conversations between Trump officials and the foreign governments of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with The New York Times in 2017, shortly after Mueller was appointed, Trump answered in the affirmative when asked whether Mueller investigating his family finances would cross a red line. At the time, Trump wouldnt say how he might respond in such a case, because I don't think its going to happen. Now, with multiple prosecutors looking beyond Muellers remit, the president may soon be held to account for whatever those investigations find.

Jared Kushner, the presidents son-in-law and senior adviser, appears to be on a collision course with Stephen Miller, Donald Trumps favorite anti-immigration ghoul. According to Politico, Kushner has been working behind the scenes on a plan to expand some forms of legal immigration in an effort to increase the number of low- and high-skilled workers in the country. Even Trump, who delights in spewing anti-immigrant rhetoric and stoking xenophobic fears, seems to be on board, calling this week for more legal immigrants to run the factories and plants and companies that are moving back in.

One person who may be less enthused? Miller, who has reportedly been only peripherally involved in the effort, and whose restrictionist views likely put him at odds with Kushner. The different factions in the White House represent different factions among Republicans, an immigration activist involved in Kushners efforts told Politico. It sure looks like the folks who want an expansion are winning.

Ironically enough, the schism comes as the president ramps up his draconian efforts to halt illegal immigration, including a threat to shut down the United States southern border and a seemingly counterproductive call to cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—a plan experts say could actually increase the number of migrants seeking entry into the U.S. Those efforts, harebrained though they may be, are in keeping with Trumps rhetoric on the campaign trail and in office. But in recent months, the president has also made calls to increase legal immigration, including an ad-libbed line in Februarys State of the Union address in which he said he want[s] people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever.

According to Politico, Kushner has been put in charge of those efforts, potentially teeing up an inter-administration showdown between his views and Millers. Kushner has long been viewed as a more moderate member of the Trump administration, in part on the basis of the bipartisan criminal-justice reform package that he helped ferry through Congress. Miller, on the other hand, is among the last remaining members of a cadre of fringe figures like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka that initially populated the Trump administration. Miller has survived in the administration as one of Trumps closest advisers in large part because, as Politico noted, his anti-immigrant views appear to align with those of the president. Indeed, Miller has been one of the primary architects of Trumps hard-line immigration agenda, and the wordsmith behind much of the presidents fear-mongering rhetoric.

If Kushner gets his way, that could change. But its unclear how the First Son-in-Laws plans will play out. Despite telling reporters Wednesday that we need people coming in, Trump has shown no sign of letting up on his efforts to target undocumented immigrants. Even if Kushner can sway the president, Miller would need to sign off on the final plan, meaning he could bury this effort the way he has other potential immigration compromises. And, of course, theres the matter of Kushner himself who, despite seeing a criminal-justice reform bill to the finish line, has been largely feckless in his supposed attempts to draw the president to the center. Everyone continues to look at Jared as the great deal-maker, a former Trump adviser told Politico. I think people give him too much credit.

Nowhere in the sprawling first volume of Robert Muellers report does the special counsel exonerate Donald Trump of collusion. And yet, there is an obvious tension between the contents of the report and the breezy, seemingly exculpatory introduction given by Attorney General William Barr on Thursday morning, some 90 minutes before the 448-page document was released online. While its true that Muellers investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election-interference activities, as we have known for weeks, the actual report is brimming with incidents and behavior that appear, at the very least, deeply corrupt.

The trouble, as former F.B.I. counter-intelligence agent Asha Rangappa explained to me last year, is that collusion does not necessarily have to be criminal. Mueller himself writes, in evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of collusion. So while the special counsel may not have found that anyone associated with the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to hack the 2016 election, that doesnt mean he didnt outline a case for collusion. In fact, a closer reading of the Mueller report reveals a series of significant interactions involving Trumpworld and the Russians. In total, these six episodes paint a damning portrait of borderline criminality.

Its no secret that Trump wanted to get his hands on Hillary Clintons e-mails during the 2016 election. (Russia, if youre listening, I hope youre able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing, Trump said at a news conference.) But the Mueller report goes into great detail about the Trump campaigns behind-the-scenes efforts to obtain them—and Russias apparent responsiveness.

Within roughly five hours of Trumps public request, Russian G.R.U. intelligence operatives targeted Clintons personal office for the first time, sending malicious links to 15 accounts hosted at the domain. But the Russians werent the only ones in pursuit of Clintons correspondence. According to Mueller, Several individuals associated with the Campaign were contacted in 2016 about various efforts to obtain the missing Clinton e-mails and other stolen material in support of the Trump campaign—to no avail. Notably, Rick Gates, who served as Trumps deputy campaign chairman, recalled candidate Trump being generally frustrated that the Clinton e-mails had not been found. And Michael Flynn, Trumps former national-security adviser, also recalled that Trump repeatedly requested members of his campaign find the deleted e-mails, and, subsequently, Flynn contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the e-mails.

Barbara Ledeen, then a staffer for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, and Peter Smith, a longtime G.O.P. operative, were among those Flynn contacted. Ledeen sought to enlist Smith in an effort to obtain the e-mails through open-source analysis and liaison work with various foreign services. Smith ultimately declined, but a few weeks after Trumps July 2016 conference, he raised thousands of dollars and created a company to search for the e-mails, claiming he was working in coordination with the Trump campaign, specifically with Flynn, Steve Bannon, Sam Clovis, and Kellyanne Conway. Mueller found that Smith communicated at least with Flynn and Clovis about his initiative. However, the Mueller team did not establish that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers or that Smith, Ledeen, or other individuals in touch with the Trump campaign ultimately obtained the deleted Clinton e-mails.

George Papadopoulos never did manage to set up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin, despite repeated efforts that brought him into contact with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor based in London who Mueller described as having ties to Russia, and Olga Polonskaya, whom Papadopoulos incorrectly believed was possibly Putins niece. Instead, his interactions with Mifsud had the unintended effect of tipping off the F.B.I. According to the Mueller report, during an April 26, 2016 meeting with Mifsud, the London-based professor informed Papadopoulos that he had met with high-level Russian government officials during a trip to Moscow, and he learned that the Russians obtained dirt on candidate Hillary Clinton.

Ten days later, a foreign government—identified in reports as Australia—told the F.B.I. that Papadopoulos suggested that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. The Mueller team was unable to confirm whether Papadopoulos shared the information with other members of the Trump campaign, writing in the report that two of Papadopouloss primary contacts—Clovis and Stephen Miller—did not recall Papadopoulos sharing such information with them.

Since January, it has been public knowledge that Mueller accused Paul Manafort of breaching his plea deal, in part, because the former Trump campaign chairman lied to investigators about discussing a Ukrainian peace plan and sharing private polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian agent. During her ruling on the matter, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Manaforts behavior, especially pertaining to his interactions with Kilimnik, was at the undisputed core of the Office of Special Counsels investigation into allegations of collusion. But the details of Manaforts deceit and the breadth of his interactions with Kilimnik remained largely obscured.

Muellers report makes it clear that Manafort didnt just share polling data with Kilimnik once, but several times during the 2016 election. Gates told the special counsel that Manafort instructed him to provide updates and polling information to Kilimnik, who he understood would pass the information along to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and others in Ukraine. Gates periodically shared information with Kilimnik, who he suspected was a Russian spy, including private Trump campaign polling data prepared by pollster Tony Fabrizio. Muellers office was unable to determine what Kilimnik did with the information. But during an August 2016 meeting, Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the Trump campaigns strategy and internal polling data, and discussed 2016 battleground states, identified by Manafort as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota—the first three of which were critical to Trumps victory.

The details of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting—arranged by Donald Trump Jr., and attended by Don Jr., Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Russia-backed attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya—are now infamous. Trump Jr. was lured to the meeting with the premise that the Russian government had offered to provide the Trump Campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia as part of Russia and its governments support for Mr. Trump. And while there is no evidence that Veselnitskaya or anyone else in attendance provided damaging information on Clinton, the Mueller report reveals that the special counsel considered whether conspiracy to violate the foreign contributions ban could be established, since the presidents son was promised official documents and information. But ultimately, Mueller concluded that he did not obtain admissible evidence likely to meet the governments burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals acted willfully, i.e., with general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct.

The Mueller report has much to say about the Center for the National Interest, a think tank that has boasted unparalleled access to Russian officials and politicians, and its president and C.E.O. Dimitri Simes. Mueller laid out a series of interactions between Simes and Kushner, Jeff Sessions, J.D. Gordon, and Miller. At one event hosted by C.N.I., at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016, Trump, Kushner, and Sessions met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Kushner specifically recalled Kislyak saying, We like what your candidate is saying . . . its refreshing. Kushners contacts with Simes—both in person and over the phone—continued throughout the campaign, and, at one point, Simes told Mueller he warned Kushner that it was bad optics for the Campaign to develop hidden Russian contacts.

Perhaps most remarkable was a meeting between Kushner and Simes on August 17, 2016, held at Kushners office in New York, in which the two were scheduled to address foreign policy advice that C.N.I. was providing and how to respond to the Clinton Campaigns Russia-related attacks on candidate Trump. Ahead of the meeting, Simes sent Kushner a memo that laid out potential Russia-related talking points for Trump, and he mentioned a well-documented story of highly questionable connections between Bill Clinton and the Russian government, parts of [which] (according to Simes) had even been discussed with the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. in the late 1990s and shared with the [Independent Counsel] at the end of the Clinton presidency. Kushner forwarded the e-mail to Miller, Manafort, and Gates. Simes did provide Kushner with the Clinton-related information, but when the presidents son-in-law was interviewed by the special counsel, he said he believed that there was little chance of something new being revealed about the Clintons given their long career as public figures, and that he never received from Simes information that could be operationalized for the Trump Campaign.

One major takeaway from the Mueller report is that Trump and those around him have a penchant for lies and misleading statements. Muellers report did not lay out a case for criminal conspiracy. But it did acknowledge that he may have been able to, had Trump campaign officials been up front. Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes provided information that was false or incomplete, he wrote. After all, Manaforts cooperation deal fell apart thanks to his obfuscations and misleading statements. Of Manafort, Mueller concedes he was unable to gain access to all of the longtime political operatives communications. While Manafort denied that he spoke to members of the Trump Campaign or the new administration about the peace plan and his meetings with Kilimnik, he wrote, his unreliability on this subject was among the reasons that the district judge found that he breached his cooperation agreement.

Mueller also noted that he was hindered by campaign officials who deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records. For instance, Mueller came up empty-handed in determining the purpose of a clandestine meeting between Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund, in Seychelles during the presidential transition, because both Prince and Steve Bannon were unable to produce records of their discussions around the meeting. Similarly, Muellers inability to determine whether Papadopoulos told other members of the Trump campaign about Mifsuds scoop on the Russians having dirt on Clinton came down to Papadopoulos not being able to clearly recall having told anyone. Campaign officials who interacted or corresponded with Papadopoulos told Mueller, with varying degrees of certainty, that he did not tell them.

If everyone he spoke with had cooperated to the extent Barr claimed, Mueller may have been able to prove a conspiracy. Mueller himself suggested this when he wrote that he cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.


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