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‘Suicide Squad’ star Joel Kinnaman granted restraining order after alleged extortion attempt

Swedish-American actor Joel Kinnaman, one of the stars of the new DC Comics movie, “The Suicide Squad,” has obtained a restraining order against a woman he alleges has been threatening to harm him and extort him for money.

Kinnaman said in an Instagram post Friday that he filed for a restraining order against Gabriella Magnusson, a Swedish-Jamaican model also known as Bella Davis.

“Earlier this morning, I filed for a restraining order against a woman who has been threatening to physically harm me and my family and loved ones, and attempting to extort money and other things of value from me,” the post reads.

A judge granted a temporary restraining order that expires on Aug. 30, when Kinnaman and Magnusson are expected to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court for a hearing.

According to the application for the restraining order obtained by NBC News, Kinnaman and Magnusson were involved in a “very brief romantic relationship” in 2018 that involved “consensual sex.” In September 2020, Kinnaman blocked Magnusson after he said he received “sexually explicit videos” from her at a time when he was in a relationship with another woman, the document states. Despite being blocked, Magnusson insisted on finding other ways to communicate with Kinnaman, but he did not respond, according to the application. She allegedly became “increasingly angry and confrontational,” the document states.

In an Instagram post Friday, Magnusson alleged Kinnaman “raped me twice.” In a separate post, she shared a screenshot of what she claims is an email from her lawyer in Swedish, saying that “the man in question wants you to sign a confidentiality agreement” in exchange for money and other accommodations.

In the application for the restraining order, Kinnaman accused Magnusson of threatening to publicize false information about him if he did not follow through with favors that would help her secure jobs in Hollywood, among other things. One of the false allegations was “that he had sex with her against her will in December 2018,” Kinnaman said.

Joel Kinnaman, at left, as Colonel Rich Flag in “The Suicide Squad”.Warner Bros Pictures

“While it is mortifying and scary to come forward about all of this, what feels worse is enduring the escalating daily threats of physical harm to me and my loved ones and threats to go to the press with fabricated, vile rumors,” Kinnaman said on Instagram.

Magnusson denied Kinnaman’s allegations in a lengthy email to NBC News, saying, “I have too much proof and he just (has) words.”

She added that Kinnaman’s claims have subjected her to “many death threats.”

“I will see him in court,” Magnusson said. “He literally (has) destroyed my whole life. He (hasn’t) hurt me enough?”

A source close to Kinnaman confirmed that the actor’s manager, Orlando John, met with Magnusson and during the meeting, Kinnaman joined by Zoom.

“He made his agent Orlando John drive 8 hours for me to zoom with Joel Kinnaman as he wanted to apologise to my whole family,” Magnusson said in the email.

The person said in response to that statement: “He was offering an apology because she claimed she felt disrespected not because he did anything inappropriate. He apologized if she felt disrespected but under no circumstances was he apologizing for anything related to alleged rape because it was a completely consensual relationship.

“At some point he blocked her. That may have set her off.”

Magnusson also claimed that Kinnaman wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

But the source close to Kinnaman said, “She made demands. We said we were unable that’s why we had to potentially go in for a restraining order,.

“There was a discussion about if we could reach any sort of agreement, we have to have an NDA because these kind of allegations are very not true and very hurtful. So the NDA, that Orlando was kind of putting, was one where she acknowledged there was no non-consensual part of this and that she would stop talking about it.”

The scandal comes as “The Suicide Squad” is expected to top the domestic box office chart this weekend, with an estimated three-day gross of $25.65 million. While the estimate falls slightly short of previous industry predictions that it would gross over $30 million in its first weekend, the R-rated superhero film is still set to top the box office by a margin of $10 million.

As the delta variant causes Covid-19 concerns to rise in the U.S., it is possible that moviegoers are opting to stay inside this weekend and enjoy the James Gunn-directed film from the comfort of their homes on HBO Max, where it is also available to stream.

“The Suicide Squad” is the latest big-screen take on the DC team of anti-heroes. It stars Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena and Sylvester Stallone. On Friday, the film opened to $12 million from 4,002 theaters, and has received favorable reviews from critics and audience members alike.

Kinnaman is also known for appearing in the 2014 remake of “Robo-Cop” as well as for his TV appearances in shows like “The Killing,” “Altered Carbon,” and “House Of Cards.”

Juliette Arcodia contributed.

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Minnesota wildfire doubles in size, creates its own weather

A wildfire in northeastern Minnesota more than doubled in size Tuesday, growing to more than 19,000 acres, after it produced pyrocumulous clouds that generated lightning and even raindrops, fire officials said.

The Greenwood Fire’s growth, most of which happened Monday afternoon, prompted firefighters to leave McDougal Lake, about 80 miles south-southwest of Duluth, officials said. Authorities fear that structures might have been destroyed or damaged.

“We had crews embedded, and as this fire took off, it was quite an effort to communicate with forces on the ground so they could get out,” said federal fire incident spokesman Clark McCreedy.

The pullout was a success, and no injuries were reported. However, downed trees and necessary cleanup mean crews have been unable to assess damage around the lake, McCreedy said.

In addition to the firefighter pullout, 159 dwellings were evacuated Monday, according to an update from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Cabins, homes and recreational sites remain under threat, the group said.

Patrick Prochaska, a Minneapolis resident who built a cabin near McDougal Lake in 2012, told NBC affiliate KARE that he watched via security camera as flames mostly bypassed his property Monday, causing minor damage.

“I was feeling very scared,” he said. “At the same time, I could see that it was not doing anything to the house, and it was kind of reassuring.”

The fire in and north of Superior National Forest has mostly performed according to the weather, fire officials said. On Monday, with dry fuel on the ground and temperatures in the high 80s, it was an expanding inferno punctuated by strobes of lightning.

“The winds were drawn into the fire from all directions,” the incident’s fire behavior analyst, Michael Locke, said in a video update Tuesday. “It created what we call pyrocumulous clouds. And really high in the atmosphere … you’d see a thunderstorm, and in fact they went high enough to produce a few sprinkles of rain and even some lightning.”

Temperatures dipped into the mid-70s Tuesday, and the blaze mellowed. “The real story was cloud cover and cooler temperatures,” McCreedy said.

More of the same, and possibly rain, was in the forecast, giving officials hope that they might be able to close the book on an unusually active and dry fire season in Minnesota.

Experts have said climate change has set the stage for extreme weather, including an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere.

Firefighters — 426 were assigned to the Greenwood event — have been confronted with “prolonged, severe drought,” making parts of Minnesota look like the fire-prone West this summer, McCreedy said.

The Greenwood Fire, which was detected Aug. 15, is believed to have been sparked by lightning.

So far, firefighters have scored no containment, and areas including McDougal Lake, Sand Lake and the Highway 2 corridor have been under mandatory evacuation orders. The federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was closed Saturday “due to active and increasing fire activity, extreme drought, limited resources,” the National Forest Service said in a notice.

Officials set a goal of Sept. 1 for full containment.

“We’re probably going to get more of that moderating weather for the rest of the week,” McCreedy said. “That opens the door for fire crews to make progress on the ground.”

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Hiker survives grizzly bear attack at Denali National Park

A tourist from Indiana was attacked and injured by a grizzly bear at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska on Monday night, park officials said.

The 55-year-old tourist, whose name was not released, was hiking alone in dense fog in the Thoroughfare Pass area when a mother bear and multiple cubs charged him from nearby bushes, the National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday.

He had puncture wounds to a calf, his left ribs and his left shoulder, the agency said.

The victim used bear spray that might have cut the attack short, the park service indicated. He walked 1.5 miles to a visitor’s center where “medical personnel” vacationing at Denali treated him as a park bus driver called 911, it said.

The hiker was taken to a medical center near the park before he was transferred to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 120 miles away, park officials said. He was stabilized at the Fairbanks hospital, they said.

“Due to the apparent defensive nature of this attack, there are no plans to locate the bear involved,” the park service said. “Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised. There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous.”

Grizzly bears are federally protected as a threatened species in the lower 48 states. According to the National Wildlife Federation, fewer than 1,500 grizzlies are left in the lower 48, but they thrive, comparatively, in Alaska, where they have a population of about 31,000.

The backcountry area of the attack is closed for one week as a precaution, the park service said.

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House passes John Lewis voting rights bill, sends measure to Senate for tougher fight

House Democrats on Tuesday passed a sweeping voting rights bill named after Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the late civil rights icon.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act was approved 219-212. All Republicans voted against the legislation.

The bill is part of congressional Democrats’ broader campaign to strengthen voting laws at the federal level to fight restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states, such as Texas and Georgia. However, it faces steep opposition in the Senate, where Democrats hold a wafer-thin majority.

The House returned from its recess this week to take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a resolution for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget package, which includes funding for much of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. The procedural motion used to pass the multitrillion-dollar resolution paved the way for the House to vote on the voting rights bill, which was re-introduced last week by Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

The legislation would require states with recent histories of discrimination to get federal “preclearance” to change their voting laws, which directly addresses the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. The ruling gutted the preclearance system in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which civil rights advocates argue was successful in blocking proposed voting restrictions in states and localities with histories of racial discrimination.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement last week that Congress had “not only an ironclad Constitutional mandate, but a moral responsibility” to pass the bill.

Shortly before its passage, Pelosi said on the House floor that the bill would honor Lewis’ legacy.

“We should have the right to vote and shouldn’t be diminished by anyone. It is unpatriotic to undermine the ability of people who have a right to vote, who have access to the polls,” she said. “As John knew, this precious pillar of our democracy is under attack from one of the worst voter suppression campaigns since Jim Crow.”

It isn’t the first time House Democrats have tackled election law. In March, House Democrats passed the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that seeks to change campaign finance, voting and ethics laws.

The bill would expand access to the ballot box by creating automatic voter registration across the country by registering eligible voters whenever they interact with government agencies, restoring the voting rights of the formerly incarcerated, expanding early voting and modernizing the country’s voting systems.

However, Senate Republicans filibustered the voting rights legislation in June, and the vote to advance an amended version of the For the People Act split along party lines 50-50, short of the 60 votes needed. All Democratic-aligned senators voted to begin debate, and Republicans unanimously voted to block the bill.

Passage of the voting measure was the final vote of the week for the House, whose members are leaving Washington and won’t return until Sept. 20.

Haley Talbot contributed.

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