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Journalists honor press freedom at a dinner without Trump

Prominent Washington journalists, if not Hollywood stars, celebrated the First Amendment during the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, an event that lacked the glitter of past years because of the absence of the president of the United States.

With President Donald Trump sending his regrets, the attention was no longer focused on an in-person roasting of the commander in chief and his humorous remarks about politics and the press. The red carpet that once featured Oscar winners, TV stars and a few major-league athletes barely turned heads.

Instead, speakers at the dinner promoted press freedom and responsibility and challenged Trump's accusations of dishonest reporting.

The stars of the night were Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who recounted what they learned about journalism from their reporting for The Washington Post that helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation more than 40 years ago.

"Like politicians and presidents sometimes, perhaps too frequently, we make mistakes and go too far," Woodward said. "When that happens we should own up to it. But the effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith. Mr. President, the media is not 'fake news.'"

The evening was not without humor aimed at the press and Trump.

"We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room," cracked the entertainment headliner, Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show" on TV's Comedy Central. "The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. It's a very long flight. As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."

Trump was indeed in Pennsylvania, having scheduled a rally in Harrisburg to mark his 100th day in office. He began his remarks with a lengthy if familiar attack on the news media while dismissing the dinner and its participants.

"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now," Trump said. He added: "And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?"

Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to skip the event — and Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.

The official WHCA dinner began in 1921. In recent decades, the event offered Washington's press corps an opportunity to wear black tie and stunning gowns while mixing with celebrity guests. Most people trace that development to 1987, when Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly brought Fawn Hall, the secretary at the center of the Iran-Contra affair.

Jeff Mason, the WHCA president, said before the event that this year's dinner would have been different even if Trump had attended, "based on the tension that has existed in the relationship and some of the things he has said about the press. We were preparing for a different dinner, either way."

The correspondents' dinner was briefly upstaged Saturday afternoon when late-night TV star Samantha Bee of "Full Frontal" pulled in celebrities for the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," among them Alysia Reiner of "Orange Is the New Black," Retta of "Parks and Recreation" and Matt Walsh of "Veep."

Bee's taped show, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to American news organizations, featured actor Will Ferrell and other guests roasting Trump and his allies. It singled out the Committee to Protect Journalists, the nonprofit group that will receive proceeds from the broadcast.

The WHCA awards and this year's recipients:

—Aldo Beckman Memorial Award winner: Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post for stories on President Barack Obama's speeches and policies that contrasted the realities of 2016 with the hopes of 2008.

—Merriman Smith Award winner for outstanding White House coverage under deadline: Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico for his coverage of the historic meeting between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

—Edgar A. Poe Award winner: David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post for stories on Donald Trump's philanthropic claims.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report. Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jackgillum .

Journalists honor press freedom at a dinner without Trump

Prominent Washington journalists, if not Hollywood stars, celebrated the First Amendment during the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, an event that lacked the glitter of past years because of the absence of the president of the United States.

With President Donald Trump sending his regrets, the attention was no longer focused on an in-person roasting of the commander in chief and his humorous remarks about politics and the press. The red carpet that once featured Oscar winners, TV stars and a few major-league athletes barely turned heads.

Instead, speakers at the dinner promoted press freedom and responsibility and challenged Trump's accusations of dishonest reporting.

The stars of the night were Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who recounted what they learned about journalism from their reporting for The Washington Post that helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation more than 40 years ago.

"Like politicians and presidents sometimes, perhaps too frequently, we make mistakes and go too far," Woodward said. "When that happens we should own up to it. But the effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith. Mr. President, the media is not 'fake news.'"

The evening was not without humor aimed at the press and Trump.

"We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room," cracked the entertainment headliner, Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show" on TV's Comedy Central. "The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. It's a very long flight. As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."

Trump was indeed in Pennsylvania, having scheduled a rally in Harrisburg to mark his 100th day in office. He began his remarks with a lengthy if familiar attack on the news media while dismissing the dinner and its participants.

"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now," Trump said. He added: "And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?"

Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to skip the event — and Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.

The official WHCA dinner began in 1921. In recent decades, the event offered Washington's press corps an opportunity to wear black tie and stunning gowns while mixing with celebrity guests. Most people trace that development to 1987, when Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly brought Fawn Hall, the secretary at the center of the Iran-Contra affair.

Jeff Mason, the WHCA president, said before the event that this year's dinner would have been different even if Trump had attended, "based on the tension that has existed in the relationship and some of the things he has said about the press. We were preparing for a different dinner, either way."

The correspondents' dinner was briefly upstaged Saturday afternoon when late-night TV star Samantha Bee of "Full Frontal" pulled in celebrities for the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," among them Alysia Reiner of "Orange Is the New Black," Retta of "Parks and Recreation" and Matt Walsh of "Veep."

Bee's taped show, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to American news organizations, featured actor Will Ferrell and other guests roasting Trump and his allies. It singled out the Committee to Protect Journalists, the nonprofit group that will receive proceeds from the broadcast.

The WHCA awards and this year's recipients:

—Aldo Beckman Memorial Award winner: Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post for stories on President Barack Obama's speeches and policies that contrasted the realities of 2016 with the hopes of 2008.

—Merriman Smith Award winner for outstanding White House coverage under deadline: Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico for his coverage of the historic meeting between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

—Edgar A. Poe Award winner: David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post for stories on Donald Trump's philanthropic claims.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report. Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jackgillum .

11 zingers from Hasan Minhaj's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech

Comedian Hasan Minhaj ripped into President Donald Trump and coverage of his administration in a sweeping address at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

>> Watch Minhaj's full speech here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Minhaj, a correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," was announced earlier this month as entertainment for the sold-out event at the Washington Hilton. The president did not attend, instead holding a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

>> PHOTOS: Scenes from the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

"I get it, I get it. We’ve got to address the elephant that's not in the room," Minhaj joked Saturday. "The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. It is a very long flight. It would be hard for (Russian President Vladimir Putin) to make it."As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."Here are 11 of Minhaj's most brutal zingers from the event:

>> PHOTOS: Revelers arrive for the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

1. "Who would have thought with everything going on in the country now that a Muslim would be standing on this stage for the ninth year in a row, baby?"

2. "No one wanted to do this, so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant."

3. "We all know this administration loves deleting history faster than Anthony Weiner when he hears footsteps."

>> Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for ‘Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’

4. "For the nine people watching on C-SPAN, there was also another elephant in the room, but Donald Trump Jr. shot it and cut off its tail."

5. "Historically, the president usually performs at the Correspondents' Dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he's done far too much bombing this month."

6. "I do not see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon. ‘Not-see’ Steve Bannon. 'Nazi’ Steve Bannon."

7. "Mike Pence wanted to be here tonight, but his wife wouldn't let him because apparently one of you ladies is ovulating."

8. "Jeff Sessions couldn't be here tonight; he was busy doing a pre-Civil War re-enactment. On his RSVP, he just wrote "no," just "nooo!" – which happens to be his second-favorite N-word."

>> Read more trending news

9. "Even Hillary Clinton couldn't be here tonight. I mean, she could have been here, but I think someone told her the event was in Wisconsin and Michigan."

10. "It finally happened: Bill O'Reilly has been fired. But then you gave him a $25 million severance package, making it the only package he won't force a woman to touch."

11. "CNN is here, baby. Now you guys got some really weird trust issues going on with the public. I'm not going to call you fake news, but everything isn't breaking news. You can't go to DEFCON 1 just because Sanjay Gupta found a new moisturizer."

Coppola and 'Godfather' cast reunite at Tribeca Film Fest

Debilitating studio battles. One miraculously still cat. Mooning contests between James Caan and Marlon Brando. These were the memories shared, 45 years later, on the making of "The Godfather" in a rare reunion of the film's cast and director Francis Ford Coppola at Radio City Music Hall.

With the stage decorated to resemble the library of Brando's Don Corleone, and a portrait of the actor hanging above, Coppola and cast members Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire, gathered together once again on Saturday. The night was organized by De Niro as the closing evening of his Tribeca Film Festival, which preceded the affair with a grand double feature of "The Godfather," parts one and two.

That made for a long day — the event spanned nearly nine hours — but one of giddy delight for devotees of Coppola's masterpieces.

While both films are widely viewed as among the finest ever made, Coppola and cast spoke again and again about the films' humble origins, when Coppola was a young, untested director, Pacino was an unknown theater actor who the studio, Paramount, was loathe to cast, and few thought the source material — Mario Puzo's best-seller — was the stuff of great cinema.

Even Coppola, himself.

"I was disappointed in the book when I first read it because it's very long," said Coppola, who called Puzo's book "a bit of a potboiler."

"Much of the book — about a third — is about Lucy Mancini's anatomy," he said.

Coppola's battles over casting Pacino as Michael Corleone have long been Hollywood legend. To help convince the wary studio, Pacino said he did more screen tests — including after he actually got the part — than he could remember. Pacino even suggested Coppola shouldn't fight so hard for him, telling him, "It's OK. We'll work again. There are other things to do."

But Coppola was enamored with Pacino. After meeting him in San Francisco, he couldn't shake the image of Pacino as Corleone. "I just saw his face," said Coppola. "Everywhere we went, all the girls lit up for Al, for some reason."

Still, Pacino was skeptical. "I thought, 'Gee, it's not a really good role," said the now 77-year-old actor of the part that earned him two Oscar nods and made him a movie star. "Sonny is the part I can play," he said, referring to the hot-headed Sonny Corleone, played by Caan. (De Niro, who ended up playing young Don Vito Corleone in Part II, also auditioned for the part of Sonny.)

When the shoot got off to a rocky start, Pacino lost his already shaky faith. "It's over," he remembered thinking. "This is the worst film ever made!"

But Pacino said he was straightened out after a pep talk from Coppola, who showed him early footage of his performance and told the struggling Pacino "to get your chops together."

There were many such stories shared Saturday. All marveled at the cat, roaming nearby, that was thrust into one scene where it calmly burrowed in Brando's lap. After the lengthy wedding scene, Pacino said, he and Keaton "got so loaded, we were on the floor." During the same scene, Duvall said, "We were all mooning each other and Brando took it very seriously."

Brando, of course, wasn't the only one missing Saturday. John Cazale (Fredo) was spoken of frequently, as was cinematographer Gordon Willis.

The event was moderated by Taylor Hackford and live streamed on Facebook. The conversation sometimes got bogged down and some on the panel hardly spoke, as many watching grumbled. De Niro said little until nearly an hour in.

But if it was an imperfect evening, it only highlighted the almost inhumane perfection of the movies Coppola et al produced. Having recently watched the films for the first time in decades, Keaton could hardly contain her amazement.

"Every choice you made was so authentically brilliant," she exclaimed to Coppola. "It's so unusual!"

With time running out, Coppola tried to take questions from the audience, asking for the house lights to be raised and urging audience members to holler out. But after a few questions, a voice announced over the speakers that the night was over and "The Godfather" got the hook.

Coppola and the group gathered together on stage to embrace each other while the crowd, eager for more, took pictures of the legendary "Godfather" team, draped arm in arm.

___

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

Coppola and 'Godfather' cast reunite at Tribeca Film Fest

Debilitating studio battles. One miraculously still cat. Mooning contests between James Caan and Marlon Brando. These were the memories shared, 45 years later, on the making of "The Godfather" in a rare reunion of the film's cast and director Francis Ford Coppola at Radio City Music Hall.

With the stage decorated to resemble the library of Brando's Don Corleone, and a portrait of the actor hanging above, Coppola and cast members Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire, gathered together once again on Saturday. The night was organized by De Niro as the closing evening of his Tribeca Film Festival, which preceded the affair with a grand double feature of "The Godfather," parts one and two.

That made for a long day — the event spanned nearly nine hours — but one of giddy delight for devotees of Coppola's masterpieces.

While both films are widely viewed as among the finest ever made, Coppola and cast spoke again and again about the films' humble origins, when Coppola was a young, untested director, Pacino was an unknown theater actor who the studio, Paramount, was loathe to cast, and few thought the source material — Mario Puzo's best-seller — was the stuff of great cinema.

Even Coppola, himself.

"I was disappointed in the book when I first read it because it's very long," said Coppola, who called Puzo's book "a bit of a potboiler."

"Much of the book — about a third — is about Lucy Mancini's anatomy," he said.

Coppola's battles over casting Pacino as Michael Corleone have long been Hollywood legend. To help convince the wary studio, Pacino said he did more screen tests — including after he actually got the part — than he could remember. Pacino even suggested Coppola shouldn't fight so hard for him, telling him, "It's OK. We'll work again. There are other things to do."

But Coppola was enamored with Pacino. After meeting him in San Francisco, he couldn't shake the image of Pacino as Corleone. "I just saw his face," said Coppola. "Everywhere we went, all the girls lit up for Al, for some reason."

Still, Pacino was skeptical. "I thought, 'Gee, it's not a really good role," said the now 77-year-old actor of the part that earned him two Oscar nods and made him a movie star. "Sonny is the part I can play," he said, referring to the hot-headed Sonny Corleone, played by Caan. (De Niro, who ended up playing young Don Vito Corleone in Part II, also auditioned for the part of Sonny.)

When the shoot got off to a rocky start, Pacino lost his already shaky faith. "It's over," he remembered thinking. "This is the worst film ever made!"

But Pacino said he was straightened out after a pep talk from Coppola, who showed him early footage of his performance and told the struggling Pacino "to get your chops together."

There were many such stories shared Saturday. All marveled at the cat, roaming nearby, that was thrust into one scene where it calmly burrowed in Brando's lap. After the lengthy wedding scene, Pacino said, he and Keaton "got so loaded, we were on the floor." During the same scene, Duvall said, "We were all mooning each other and Brando took it very seriously."

Brando, of course, wasn't the only one missing Saturday. John Cazale (Fredo) was spoken of frequently, as was cinematographer Gordon Willis.

The event was moderated by Taylor Hackford and live streamed on Facebook. The conversation sometimes got bogged down and some on the panel hardly spoke, as many watching grumbled. De Niro said little until nearly an hour in.

But if it was an imperfect evening, it only highlighted the almost inhumane perfection of the movies Coppola et al produced. Having recently watched the films for the first time in decades, Keaton could hardly contain her amazement.

"Every choice you made was so authentically brilliant," she exclaimed to Coppola. "It's so unusual!"

With time running out, Coppola tried to take questions from the audience, asking for the house lights to be raised and urging audience members to holler out. But after a few questions, a voice announced over the speakers that the night was over and "The Godfather" got the hook.

Coppola and the group gathered together on stage to embrace each other while the crowd, eager for more, took pictures of the legendary "Godfather" team, draped arm in arm.

___

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

Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for 'Not The White House Correspondents Dinner'

Comedian Will Ferrell reprised his role as former President George W. Bush on Saturday night to thunderous applause at “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” hosted by Samantha Bee.

>> Read more trending news

The event was taped as journalists gathered at the Washington Hilton for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump addressed a crowd in Pennsylvania.

"How do you like me now?" Ferrell asked the crowd gathered at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, using his signature Bush twang. “The prodigal son has returned. I don’t know what that means, but I know it’s positive. It’s very prodigal.”

Ferrell has portrayed Bush several times over the course of his career. The character was a fan-favorite impression during Ferrell’s tenure with “Saturday Night Live.” He was a cast member on the sketch comedy show from 1995 to 2002.

“Quick presidential update: I’m doing quite well, thank you,” Ferrell-as-Bush said Saturday. “History’s been kinder to me than many of you thought. For the longest time, I was considered the worst president of all time. That has changed — and it only took 100 days. I needed eight years, a catastrophic flood, a war built on a lie, an economic disaster. The new guy needed 100 days.”

He joked about Bush’s strained relationship with the press, comparing it to the relationship Trump has with the media.

“You guys always sneaked up on me with gotcha questions like, ‘Why are we going to war? Gotcha!’ ‘Why did you not respond to Hurricane Katrina? Gotcha!'” Ferrell-as-Bush said. “Wish someone had just told me that all you have to say is ‘fake news’ over and over again.”

Ferrell-as-Bush went on to present a half-finish portrait of Trump, poking fun at the former president’s recent book release “Portraits of Courage.”

About 2,600 people attended “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” an hour-long special for TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” CNN reported. Proceeds from the show will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will air Saturday at 10 p.m. on TBS and will be streamed on Twitter at 11 p.m. ET.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a moment Saturday morning to pay tribute to his father on what would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 66th birthday.

>> Read more trending news

Happy Birthday dude,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his Instagram page alongside a photo of himself as a child with his dad.

It had already been quite a week for the younger Earnhardt. He announced Tuesday that he would be retiring at the end of the 2017 NASCAR season and he celebrated the creation of The Dale and Amy Earnhardt Activity Room at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, alongside his wife, Amy.

Besides Dale Earnhardt’s fans, fellow drivers and other members of the Earnhardt family also paid tribute to the NASCAR legend.

“Thinking about my pawpaw today on his 66th birthday,” Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt’s grandson, wrote on his Instagram page. “Some (heroes) wore capes, he wore a fire suit. Big inspiration in my life.”

Climate March Pushes Back Against Trump Agenda

Tens of thousands of people marching for climate action Saturday faced record-high temperatures.

If The US Leaves NAFTA, That Could Cost Avocado-Lovers

In 2016, the U.S. imported about $23 billion in agricultural products from Mexico, duty-free.

Fyre Fest fiasco: Bahamas party lives, dies on social media

And it's been a sudden and ugly death for the ill-fated Fyre Festival, a multiday music, art and culture party that promised "an invitation to let loose and unplug with the likeminded" on the Bahamian island of Exuma.

The festival's rise and fall has played out in real time on YouTube and filtered through Facebook, where would-be party goers are putting their anger on display. Instead of photos of boozy good times, people have posted pictures of rows of white tents that look like "Stormtrooper helmets," blue port-a-potties near half-constructed plywood structures and limp, lifeless cheese sandwiches.

Organizers canceled the event at the last minute after poor planning, disorganization and lack of accommodations. Most of the A-list acts had pulled out days before, saying they hadn't been paid.

It was supposed to be a sun-soaked experience filled with yachts, gourmet food and models. Ticket prices ranged from $500 to $12,000.

But by Saturday morning, the partygoers had decamped, many of them to hotels in Miami in hopes of salvaging a weekend. People decried the festival accommodations as being like a "disaster tent city" and a "refugee camp."

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism says it's deeply disappointed.

"Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos," the tourism office wrote in a statement to the media.

Fyre Festival co-organizer Billy McFarland promised full refunds on the festival's website Saturday.

"We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year's festival," he wrote.

The hype began months ago, marketed with slick videos on social media.

"I saw it on Instagram and booked it before the lineup was announced," said Mitch Purgason, a 25-year-old bespoke menswear designer in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Instagram ads looked especially "ridiculous" — parlance for amazing — what with models like Gigi Hadid and rapper Ja Rule. Blink-182 was supposed to perform. Photos of the impossibly blue water and the sugary sandy beach looked incredible. What's more: Wild, docile pigs lived on the beach and swam in the warm water, perfect props for a killer Instagram selfie.

Although the festival on the island chain east of Florida appeared to cater to the Millennial trust fund crowd, it was people like Purgason and 29-year-old Jake Strang of Pittsburgh who purchased early tickets — young professionals who wanted to spend a fun weekend in the tropics.

Both men paid $500 for a flight from Miami to the island along with lodging and food. Strang and seven of his friends planned the trip to coincide with a birthday. They reserved a "lodge" for eight, with four king beds and a seating area in the middle.

"Everything made it look amazing," said Strang.

The festival website promised a treasure hunt of "exceptional proportions," with more than $1 million in riches to be found on a private island.

Purgason said he was skeptical, but planned the vacation anyway.

"Worst case scenario, I figured, we're still in the Bahamas in a villa."

His first inkling something was amiss came on Thursday morning, after the first flight from Miami to Exuma. Organizers said the villas weren't ready, so they whisked the planeload of partygoers to a restaurant at a nearby resort.

It wasn't a private island at all, but food and drink were free and plenty. Cute pigs and bikini-clad girls roamed the beach. There was a DJ.

"They actually treated us pretty well," he said. "The first three hours was dope."

Jenna Conlin, 30, an advertising professional from Venice, California, said, "They were putting down bottles of tequila on every table in an attempt to make everybody happy."

Strang flew in later Thursday and wasn't so lucky.

"When we arrived, it essentially looked like a construction site. It looked like they were trying to sell lots for homes," he said.

A promoter told festival goers to find tents and waved his arm in a direction. But the tents had holes that had obviously allowed rain to come in, because the beds were wet. They were given a Styrofoam container of food: "two slices of ham, lettuce and one slice of cheese on soggy bread," Strang said.

A few lucky patrons had been relocated to resorts. Most had to find beds in the tents. Available rooms aren't easy to grab on Exuma, a small island with a population of about 7,000 that lacks the well-developed tourist infrastructure of Nassau or Freeport.

The island's hotels were already booked months in advance for a well-known regatta, wrote Robert Carron, owner of the Bahamas Tribune newspaper.

By daybreak, people were already lining up to complain, and buses began returning them to the airport. Soon, it was official: The festival was cancelled.

Word got out via social media that organizers said "circumstances out of our control" prevented them from preparing the "physical infrastructure" necessary for the event on the largely undeveloped island.

"I'm heartbroken at this moment," Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, said on Twitter. "I wanted this to be an amazing event. It was not a scam as everyone is reporting. I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT."

___

Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush

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