Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez Reunion Started with Love Letters While She Was in the D.R.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez didn't just rekindle their romance within the last 2 weeks, instead, it's been building since February ... when he started flooding her with emails while she was filming in the Dominican Republic.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Ben and J Lo were in very regular contact by email starting in early February when she flew to the Caribbean to begin filming "Shotgun Wedding." We're told the tone of the emails wasn't just friendly ... but more loving and longing for Jen.

For instance, after seeing pics of Jennifer in the D.R., he wrote to tell her how beautiful she looked, and how much he wished he could be down there with her. Of course, he was busy at the time in Boston, shooting "The Tender Bar" with George Clooney -- and she was still engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

Our sources say the emails also referenced J Lo's love for Ben's writing, and included a line about him being able to "own her heart" with his pen.

We're told they continued emailing each other, back and forth, for the duration of J Lo's shoot ... which wrapped in late April.

As far as our sources know, there was no physical contact or rendezvous between them during this time, but the emails do add context to how they seemingly got together so quickly.

Remember, they were together in L.A. -- very publicly -- on the first weekend in May ... just 2 weeks after Jen and A-Rod called off their engagement.

Folks in Ben and Jennifer's world said they had always maintained a friendship since splitting up in 2004. However, as we first told you, they were together again in Montana this past weekend.

One more clue the exes have been in close contact for some time came with InStyle Magazine's recent J Lo cover story. It included a quote from Ben gushing about his ex-fiancee, saying in part ... "She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I’m so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves."

That story did not include a quote from Jen's then-fiance, A-Rod.

While it looked like Bennifer II went from 0 to 100 in record time, the emails show they were doing at least 55 by the time they started hanging out again.

Betty White Staying Busy During COVID-19 ... But Loneliness Was a Real Thing

Good news Betty White fans ... more than a year into a pandemic and the Hollywood legend's still healthy and safe at home, but she's looking forward to summer when she can safely enjoy the outdoors and regain her freedom.

Betty's been keeping herself busy at home reading, watching TV and doing crossword puzzles ... so says her rep, Jeff Witjas. We're told there's one thing the pandemic has severely affected in her life ... her ability to regularly interact with friends face-to-face.

We're told, however, she still pens plenty of letters, makes phone calls and has limited visits with friends and loved ones through the window of her home.

Betty has always been a champion for animals, but currently has no house pets, so that's an empty spot in her life ... especially for a senior who is isolated from friends and family. She does, however, have a couple ducks on her property that we're told walk up to her door every day to say hello.

As for whether or not Betty's been vaccinated, Witjas is mum, saying it's a personal matter.

We're told it's unclear if and when Betty will ever return to work. But, after a Hollywood career that's spanned 60-plus years ... a break is well-deserved.

8/21/12
CATCHIN' UP WITH BETTY
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As we first reported .... Betty took COVID seriously during the pandemic. She rarely left her home. Someone did her grocery shopping and ran errands for her, so she rarely left the house.

Logan Paul We're Taking Floyd's 'Kill You' Threat Seriously ... Adding 24/7 Security

I'M IN HIS HEAD
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Logan Paul says he and his brother are taking no chances after Floyd Mayweather's "I'll kill you" threat ... telling TMZ Sports they now have security watching them "at all times."

Floyd dropped the menacing warning to Jake Paul after the younger Paul bro famously stole the boxer's hat during a confrontation at the Logan-Mayweather pre-fight news conference in Miami last week.

ABSOLUTE MAYHEM!!!

Most considered it an empty threat -- after all, nobody really thinks Floyd's going to commit murder over a baseball cap -- but Logan tells us he's taking absolutely no chances.

As for why -- the 26-year-old YouTube star explained it this way ...

"Dawg, when you have a guy with the resources and the wealth that Floyd Mayweather has and the connection and the network and he's saying s***, 'I'mma kill that motherf***er' -- kill?! Death?! You're gonna kill my brother over a f***ing hat?! Yo, we take that s*** seriously man!"

Logan says the Paul bros now have bodyguards with or around them "everywhere at all times."

Logan, though, says he and his brother will NOT be going to cops or filing anything in the court system over the threat -- the older Paul brother said that idea is straight-up "bitch s***, bro."

There's more ... Logan also says there's a chance he makes $20 MILLION for fighting Floyd -- and he also explained why a fight card that would feature both him and Jake vs. Mayweather would never happen.

By the way, Jake also made an appearance during our interview with Logan ... and watch the clip -- "gotcha hat" clearly ain't going anywhere anytime soon!

Simon Cowell New Electric Bike isn't a Death Trap ... But That Old One, 😬

GETTIN' BACK ON THE BIKE
TMZ.com

Simon Cowell insists he's not living dangerously by getting back on an electric bicycle less than a year after shattering his spine while riding one ... 'cause he's toned down his horsepower.

The "America's Got Talent" judge and music exec broke down the differences for us after he was spotted scooting around on a new bike, but one that still had an electric motor attached.

It looks like risky business, but Simon explains he wasn't concerned. Check out why this new ride of his isn't anywhere near as crash-prone as the one he crashed with last summer.

The long and short of it is ... one of them was basically a motorcycle with pedals, and the other is a lot more human-friendly and manageable.

SC actually tells us a pretty hilarious anecdote about a magazine he picked up recently that served as a painful reminder of the brutal injury he endured.

Speaking of that injury ... Simon has healed very nicely since August, which was pretty obvious from his vacation to Barbados over the holidays -- where he was spotted cruising around on a jet ski, something he tells us his doctor did NOT want to see happen.

Tough luck for the doc -- Simon likes living on the edge, but at least he's taking a much wiser, sensible approach now.

You can see the full interview on Tuesday's TMZ Live (check your local listings).

Tampa Bay Lightning Start 3 Black Forwards ... '1st Time Ever In NHL History'

History was made on the NHL ice Monday night ... the Tampa Bay Lightning started an all-Black line, and it's believed to be the first time an NHL team has EVER done that.

Daniel Walcott, Gemel Smith and Mathieu Joseph -- who are all Black -- started at the center and wing spots for TB in their game against the Panthers ... and the scene was awesome.

The trio logged a ton of ice time -- all 3 dudes played over 10 minutes each in the contest -- and they were praised by the Lightning broadcast team for their efforts in the game.

"There's another look at Daniel Walcott, playing with Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith," Lightning play-by-play man Dave Randorf said in the 2nd period.

"First time ever in NHL history they have started an all-Black line in this league. A big, historic moment tonight for sure."

Walcott and Smith aren't regulars on the Lightning roster -- Smith has played sparingly this season and Walcott was playing in his 1st-ever NHL game -- but Mathieu was SUPER fired up to have gotten the start with the guys nonetheless.

"Honestly, it was pretty awesome," Joseph said ... adding, "I think it’s a step in the right direction and obviously you got to thank the coaching staff for that, it was their call."

"But, it was definitely fun to have some progress and clearly it's a process over this, but seeing that, and I don’t know if it was the first, but I think it was great to see and I’m glad I was part of it."

The Lightning wasn't able to get the win -- they dropped the contest 4-0 ... though Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was certainly pleased with his starting group's effort.

"They deserve to be here and have worked their tails off," the coach said of the three. "To have them all together, they had a little chemistry. Moving forward in the league, you hope it isn't a story anymore and will be the norm. It was a pretty cool moment for all those guys."

Added Walcott, "Coop did something really special here to promote this for young kids."

Indeed!

Tory Lanez Alleged Attack on 'L&HH' Star Prince

Tory Lanez packs a serious punch ... at least according to a 'Love & Hip Hop' cast member who told cops he needed medical attention after the rapper socked him in the face, but Tory's denying it.

Prince Michael Harty, a rapper/promoter who's on "L&HH: Miami," claims Tory reignited their longstanding beef this month at club Vendome on South Beach. According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, Prince told cops he was at his table around 4 AM last Monday when he was approached and struck on the left side of his face.

Prince told cops he turned around and made eye contact with Tory, who ran out of the club and took off in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. Tory is named in the police report as a suspect for an alleged battery.

According to the report, Prince also told cops he went for medical treatment and the responding officer said Prince had a visibly swollen area on his left cheek.

A rep for Prince tells TMZ ... he was hanging out with NFL star Malcolm Butler, when he noticed some guys staring at them.

We're told the DJs and hosts made it well known Prince and Malcolm were in the building, and when Butler left Prince alone in their section, Tory came up with his entourage and allegedly threw the punch, leaving Prince with a massive headache and a swollen mouth.

SURPRISING INJURIES
TMZ.com

A rep for Tory tells TMZ ... Lanez was nowhere near Prince at the time he alleges and the guy's "obsessed" with Tory. Even further, the rep says there are no witnesses or footage to back up Prince's claim -- 'cause, again, Tory says it didn't happen ...

11/9/19
FISTS FLYIN'
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story ... Tory allegedly swung on Prince back in 2019 at LIV Miami, and Prince is already suing him over that, and we're told he's considering filing a new one for this latest claim.

'BACHELOR IN PARADISE' STARS Evan and Carly Hanging After Split ... Getting Back Together?!?

Evan Bass and Carly Waddell don't look like a couple calling it quits ... the "Bachelor in Paradise" stars are hanging out again after their split.

Evan and Carly were spotted at brunch Sunday at White Limozeen at the Graduate Hotel in Nashville, and folks who were there tell us they were acting very friendly toward one another.

It's interesting ... the brunch outing was on Mother's Day, but their children weren't with them. Seems more like a date than a family holiday outing, right?!?

Evan and Carly split back in December after 3 years of marriage ... and this is the first time they've been seen together in public since the split.

While witnesses say there was no PDA at Evan and Carly's table, we're also told Evan went to the same restaurant the weekend before with a male friend and made a reservation for him and Carly for Mother's Day. So, it sounds like this wasn't a spur-of-the-moment thing.

Looks like there might be hope for an Evan and Carly reunion.

Stay tuned ...

Guess Who This Bowl Cut Kid Turned Into!

Before this cheesing child was growing up fast on the big screen, she was just another kid with a bowl cut hairstyle living in Houston, Texas.

This little lady made her breakout film debut in an age-defying romantic comedy starring alongside a hulky hunk of a leading man. Also, she showed off her acting range on television by portraying a secret agent in a thrilling science fiction show.

Now, you can find this mother of three in a new Netflix original movie where the word no doesn't exist in her vocabulary. It's fun for the whole family!

Can you guess who she is?

Elon Musk Asperger's Revelation Inspiring Others

Elon Musk's big reveal on "Saturday Night Live" -- that he has Asperger's -- has other folks who live with the disorder seeking out support groups for the first time in their lives.

HE'S AN INSPIRATION
TMZ.com

Elon's surprise announcement moved 68-year-old Joe Graca to become a member of the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE), where he's connecting with other folks going through the same things.

Joe, who discovered he has Asperger's when he was in his 50s, tells us he joined AANE Monday after Elon appeared on 'SNL' ... saying he likes the fact Musk didn't use Asperger's as a crutch, but showed how it can be a strength.

The Elon effect runs deeper than Joe ... Dania Jekel, AANE's executive director, tells us the org's website traffic saw an astounding 105% increase the day after the Tesla chief revealed during his monologue he lives with Asperger's.

MAKIN' HISTORY
NBC

Dania says the traffic boost has a direct correlation to Elon's announcement, telling us the fact a celebrity like Elon openly discussing the struggles he faces in front of millions of TV viewers will inspire others to consider they too might have Asperger's.

And, get this ... the AANE is now expecting to receive over 100 calls more than they'd usually see in a month, from people looking for the 4-1-1 on Asperger's or other kind support ... like Joe.

It's interesting ... Joe says Elon's announcement reminded him of President Biden being open about his stutter, and he's thanking him for speaking out.

ASIAN HATE Elderly Man Attacked ... Cries Out For Help

An elderly Asian man was screaming out for help while at least 2 teenage attackers hovered over him -- but not only did no one come to his aid, you can hear someone laughing out loud.

The horrifying scene played out in the San Francisco Bay Area, where an 80-year-old man appeared to be randomly attacked by the 2 suspects, who cops say are in their teens.

In this surveillance video, you can see and hear the victim calling out for help but no one responds. Another person enters the frame, but does nothing -- it's unclear if that person was with the suspects.

Cops say the suspected attackers are as young as 16 and their getaway car was seen a couple hours later in a strong-armed robbery ... according to KGO-TV reporter Dion Lim. They are still on the loose.

Police aren't labeling this a racially motivated crime yet, but the victim has said he believes the attack was motivated by hate.

This incident comes as San Fran is still reeling from the heinous stabbing attack on 2 elderly Asian women. That suspect was captured and charged with attempted murder.

WE NEED TO STAY VIGILANT
TMZ.com

As we first told you ... "Crazy Rich Asians" star Henry Golding says the recent attacks have him concerned for the elderly members of his family, and he says the folks preying on the elderly are cowards.

Golden Globes HFPA Rolls Out Detailed Plan ... After NBC Dumps Show

3:15 PM PT -- HFPA has responded to NBC putting their award show on the shelf for a year, and it looks like the move lit a fire under their ass -- 'cause they've got a way quicker (and excruciatingly detailed) timeline on what they're going to do to shape up ... and exactly when.

The org says, "Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly -- and as thoughtfully -- as possible remains the top priority for our organization." They add, "We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large."

Starting this week, HFPA will begin the process of adding 20 new members (presumably all of whom will be BIPOC) by August ... and increasing their membership by 50% in 18 mos. By the end of May, HFPA is aiming to hire a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, a bunch of other execs, roll out a new code of conduct and train their members up ASAP.

Come June, they're planning to review new bylaws with an independent firm they're bringing on, and also form a new credentials committee ... while sending out ballots to vote on these changes. In July, they're hoping all the new bylaws will be adopted and all the changes will go into effect -- and when August rolls around, they want to admit their new class of HFPA members. There's A LOT to do, but HFPA wants everyone to know ... they're on it.

Looks like there will be one less award show next year ... NBC just axed the 2022 Golden Globes because of a lack of diversity within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The network announced its decision to cut ties with the Golden Globes Monday, citing the need for "meaningful reform" at the HFPA, which is stirring outrage in Hollywood due to a lack of people of color among its members.

NBC says it won't air the Golden Globes in 2022, but the network's leaving the door open for the award show's return in January 2023, as long as the HFPA follows through with a new plan to increase membership among POC.

LET'S DO BETTER
NBC

Remember, the HFPA -- a non-profit made up of international journalists who put on (and vote for winners of) the Golden Globes -- has been called out for reportedly having ZERO Black members for several years now.

The hosts of this year's Golden Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, even raised the issue during NBC's February broadcast.

NBC's decision to ax the Globes comes the same day Tom Cruise reportedly returned his 3 Golden Globe trophies to the HFPA in a sign of protest.

There's been growing opposition to HFPA ... as we reported, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson recently called on Hollywood to "step back" from HFPA, and the Globes by extension.

Meanwhile, the HFPA says it's planning to make sweeping changes ... like admitting 20 new members with a focus on Black recruitment.

NBC says change at the HFPA "takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right."

See ya in 2023?!?

Originally Published -- 12:25 PM PT

Victor Willis to The Weeknd Young Man, You Reek of Hypocrisy ... Give Grammys a Break!!!

Now here's a surprise ... Village People founder, Victor Willis, is ripping The Weeknd -- even though they both have beef with the Grammys, Victor thinks Abel's being a total hypocrite.

The legendary disco singer penned a brutally harsh letter to The Weeknd Monday ... calling out the fact that he seems to be choosy as to when he's outraged about the Recording Academy's secret voting committees -- from which he once benefitted for gold statuettes.

Victor writes, in part ... "Psst, 'The weeknd,' lighten up on the Grammys already why don't cha!?" He goes on to say that as someone who knows a thing or two about protesting the Grammy Awards, Victor thinks TW's now taking things too far with his prolonged gripes.

ICYMI ... The Weeknd tripled down in his refusal to participate in any future Grammy shows -- despite them announcing they're scrapping the secret committee process moving forward -- and once again called them "corrupt."

Welp, in response ... Victor says this, "I don't recall you complaining about the secret committees when you were benefitting from those secret committees." He adds, "But on the one occasion the secret committees didn't benefit you, the Grammys are suddenly corrupt, and it's off with their heads?"

He went on to say that Abel's way too talented and important to music to keep "pouting" ... while also noting that he seems more "out for blood" than anything else at this point.

Victor ends by mentioning the new chief of the Academy -- a Black man named Harvey Mason Jr., who's been getting a lot of credit for putting reforms in motion, despite only having been on the job for a short time now. VW pleads, "Cut the brotha some slack!"

Shots fired ... and then some.

Logan Paul Sparred 4 Gronk Bros While Training for Floyd ... 'They're Massive'

GRONK PUNCH!!!
TMZSports.com

Logan Paul took on FOUR members of the Gronkowski family while training for his upcoming match against Floyd Mayweather ... and claims he handled all of 'em!

But, there's no beef -- it's all love -- and Logan and Rob Gronkowski spelled out the whole situation to TMZ Sports.

Rob didn't actually fight because of that whole football thing he's got going ... which probably makes Tom Brady and the Bucs happy.

But, all 4 of his brothers -- Glenn, Dan, Chris and Gordie -- laced up the gloves to go a few rounds with Paul back in April ... and it seems Rob was genuinely impressed!

"I was the official referee," Rob tells us ... "and good thing I was the official referee. My referring skills were pretty legit, 12 out of 10!"

The Gronks were trained up by two legendary fighters -- Winky Wright and Antonio Tarver ... and Logan says his main focus point was avoiding getting rocked!

"They're massive," Logan tells us ... "I'm f**king 6'2", 200 pounds and I go in there and all of Rob's brothers are towering over me! They're all taller than me vertically, they're all wider than me horizontally. These are huge humans! "

"Honestly, I walked in and I was like. 'Alright, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna kick their ass but I cannot get hit obviously.' They don't know how to box but they got some power and if they hit me, that could be it, man!"

Logan says Rob's youngest bro, Glenn -- who played fullback in the NFL -- has some legit skills and even connected with a quick jab ... but ultimately, Paul proved to be the superior fighter.

Logan tells us he plans to release all of the sparring footage later this week.

Again, the session was super friendly -- and the guys are all joking about it now ... but Logan says he thinks Rob could have a real future in fighting if he commits to it after his NFL career wraps up.

"Anyone with Rob's height and size and power ... if he just dedicated himself to it then yeah!"

"[Rob] pulled me off his brothers once or twice, and I was literally like 'Holy f**k, this guy is strong, dude! I was like bro, he tossed me! I felt powerless!"

Ben and Jen Hangin' Out in Montana Together!!!

J Lo and Ben Affleck may have crossed the friendzone, because we found out they were hanging out together this past weekend.

Ben and Jen were at the Big Sky Resort in Montana, super close to Yellowstone National Park. They were staying at the same resort and were driving around together ... Ben was driving and J Lo was riding shotgun.

They also flew out of Montana together Sunday from Bozeman, Montana to L.A. When they arrived in L.A. at the Signature Terminal at LAX, they took an SUV together and drove to her house in Bel-Air. All this raises the question, of course ... are they back together?

There's certainly a lot of smoke. The 2 were hanging out together in Los Angeles early last week as well. If you were placing bets, bet on them being reunited as a couple.

Our sources connected to both J Lo and Ben have told us they're just friends ... they've actually been fairly close over the years since their breakup.

They certainly have a lot in common now ... they both recently broke off their relationships.

It was back in 2004 when the two split, and we haven't known either of them to be romantically linked since. Of course, both have gone on to have other serious relationships and raise children as well.

A source close to J Lo told us she keeps her exes close, just look at her relationship with Marc Anthony over the years. The source also told us she's seen Alex Rodriguez since they ended things as well and that the two remain friends. However, it's rare that only J Lo and one of her exes ever hung out without kids in tow, and from what we've learned, Ben and Jennifer were solo in Montana.

A source in Montana who spotted them tell TMZ they seemed very much like a couple.

LAPD Station Hit with Molotov Cocktail on Video ... Suspect Arrested

SET ABLAZE
Fox News / Bill Melugin

An LAPD station got firebombed by someone who threw a Molotov cocktail at its doors ... but it was all captured on video, and cops already nabbed the suspect.

The frightening scene went down around 1 AM Sunday at LAPD's Topanga Division Station and was caught on surveillance footage.

As you can see, the guy walks up with what appears to be an already-lit explosive device in his hand and hurls it at the front of the building, then takes off running.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the Molotov cocktail cracked the station window but did not break it, and the explosion looked bigger on video than it actually was.

We're told the suspect -- later ID'd as Jonathon Rosin -- was chased down by officers and arrested. He's been booked for igniting an explosive, a felony, and is still in custody.

Cops say Rosin might be homeless and did not explain why he did what he did. Our sources say nobody suffered injuries and it seems the damage is just the cracked window.

Jacksonville Jaguars SIGNING TIM TEBOW ... As a Tight End!!

Forget baseball, IT'S TEBOW TIME IN THE NFL AGAIN ... almost!!!

The Jacksonville Jaguars are planning to sign Tim Tebow to a 1-year contract, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

But, Tebow won't be joining the squad as a QB -- he's a tight end now!

Rap says the deal is expected to be completed in "the next week or so" ... giving the 33-year-old a chance to compete for a roster spot.

Tebow was drafted as a QB by the Denver Broncos in the 1st-round of the 2010 NFL Draft ... and ultimately led the team to a playoff win during the 2011 season!

But, he never really panned out at QB -- bouncing around a few teams including the NY Jets, New England Patriots and finally had a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 ... the last time he was in the league.

After that, Tebow went all-in on a baseball career and spent years with the NY Mets organization playing for their minor league teams.

He retired from baseball back in February after it became clear he wasn't gonna make the big leagues and decided to focus on learning the tight end position.

Tebow had a workout with the Jaguars sometime over the past month ... and it seems he did enough to impress the Jags coaches, who will see if he can be an asset.

Don't scoff ... NFL tight end Marcedes Lewis told us he thinks Tebow has a real shot at success at the position because he's smart, athletic and knows the game as well as anyone.

TIGHT SITUATION
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