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Minnesota prosecutor won't file charges in Prince's death

The prosecutor in the Minnesota county where Prince died said Thursday that no criminal charges will be filed in the musician's death, effectively ending the state's two-year investigation into how Prince got the fentanyl that killed him.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz's announcement on no criminal charges came just hours after documents revealed that a doctor who was accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince had agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation. Prosecutors alleged Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg wrote a prescription for oxycodone in the name of Prince's bodyguard, intending it to go Prince.

Metz said the evidence shows Prince thought he was taking Vicodin, not fentanyl. He said there's no evidence any person associated with Prince knew he possessed any counterfeit pill containing fentanyl.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio compound on April 21, 2016. His death sparked a national outpouring of grief, and prompted a joint investigation by Carver County and federal authorities.

An autopsy found Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin. State and federal authorities have been investigating the source of the fentanyl for nearly two years, and have still not determined where the drug came from or how Prince got it.

While Carver County said it was ending its role in the case, the U.S. Attorney's Office had no immediate comment on the status of its investigation.

But a law enforcement official close to the investigation told The Associated Press that the federal investigation is now inactive unless new information comes forward. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the case remains open.

Federal prosecutors and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alleged Schulenberg, a family physician who saw Prince at least twice before he died, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he wrote a prescription in the name of someone else on April 14, 2016.

The settlement, dated Monday, does not name Prince or make any references to the Prince investigation. However, search warrants previously released say Schulenberg told authorities he prescribed oxycodone to Prince on April 14 and put it under the name of Prince's bodyguard and close friend, Kirk Johnson, "for Prince's privacy."

Schulenberg's attorney, Amy Conners, has disputed that and did so again on Thursday, saying that Schulenberg settled the case to avoid the expense and uncertain outcome of litigation.

Oxycodone, the generic name for the active ingredient in OxyContin, was not listed as a cause of Prince's death. But it is part of a family of painkillers driving the nation's overdose and addiction epidemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 2 million Americans abused or were addicted to prescription opioids, including oxycodone, in 2014.

A laboratory report obtained by The Associated Press notes that one of the pills found in a prescription bottle in Paisley Park that bore Johnson's name tested positive for oxycodone.

"Doctors are trusted medical professionals and, in the midst of our opioid crisis, they must be part of the solution," U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said in a statement Thursday.

The settlement notes that the agreement "is neither an admission of facts nor liability by Dr. Schulenberg." And in a separate letter to Schulenberg's attorneys, prosecutors say Schulenberg is not currently a target of any criminal investigation.

Under the settlement, Schulenberg also agreed to stricter requirements for logging and reporting his prescriptions of controlled substances for two years, and give the DEA access to inspect those records.

It's illegal for a doctor to write a prescription for someone under another person's name. Anyone convicted of doing so could lose their DEA registration — meaning they could no longer prescribe controlled substances — and could face discipline from their state medical board.

The settlement says the DEA won't revoke Schulenberg's registration, unless he does not comply. It's unclear whether the state medical board will take action. His license is currently active and he has no disciplinary action against him.

A confidential toxicology report obtained by the AP in March showed high concentrations of fentanyl in the singer's blood, liver and stomach. The concentration of fentanyl in Prince's blood alone was 67.8 micrograms per liter, which outside experts called "exceedingly high."

Prince did not have a prescription for fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after he died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. Authorities found numerous pills in various containers stashed around Prince's home, including some counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl.

While many who knew Prince over the years said he had a reputation for clean living, some said he also struggled with pain after years of performing at an intense level. Documents unsealed last year paint a picture of a man struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids and withdrawal, and they also show there were efforts to get him help.

Associates at Paisley Park told investigators that Prince was recently "going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication," according to an affidavit.

Just six days before he died, Prince passed out on a plane, and an emergency stop was made in Moline, Illinois. The musician had to be revived with two doses of a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

The day before his death, Paisley Park staffers contacted California addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld as they were trying to get Prince help. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, to Minnesota that night, and the younger Kornfeld was among those who found Prince's body. Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to help treat opioid addiction.

Charges could be announced in Prince opioid investigation two years after his death

Authorities in Carver County, Minnesota, could announce charges Thursday in the investigation into the opioid-related death of legendary entertainer Prince two years after he died, according to news outlets.

>> Read more trending news 

Prince was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park home in Chanhassen on April 21, 2016, and was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy report by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office was released two months later and called Prince’s death “accidental.” The cause was listed as “fentanyl toxicity,” according to Entertainment Tonight, and the drug was “self-administered.”

According to news reports at the time, prescription drugs were found at the musician’s Paisley Park home and in his possession when he died.

Some of the bottles of prescription painkillers found at Paisley Park were in the name of a longtime friend of Prince and were prescribed by a doctor the “Purple Rain” singer saw before he died.

>> Related: Remembering Prince: 5 most memorable tributes

It’s unclear if anyone is facing charges at this point.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz is holding a press conference Thursday at 11:30 a.m. to further discuss whether investigators are charging anyone in connection with the musician’s death.

Illusionist Copperfield takes stand in tourist injury case

David Copperfield testified Wednesday that he didn't know until he was sued that a British tourist claimed to have been seriously injured while taking part in an illusion during a performance on the Las Vegas Strip in 2013.

Although Copperfield said it might be his fault if an audience volunteer who was participating in an illusion got hurt, the celebrated magician didn't acknowledge responsibility for injuries Gavin Cox claims to have suffered when he fell.

"It depends on what happened. If I did something wrong, it would be my fault," Copperfield said during questioning by Cox's lawyer, Benedict Morelli.

"Your defense in this case is ... if they participate and someone gets hurt, it's their fault, not yours. Is that accurate?" Morelli asked. "Yes or no?"

"It's not a simple yes-or-no answer," Copperfield responded in a barely audible voice.

Morelli contends that before Cox fell, the group of audience volunteers participating in the illusion was hustled through an alley coated with what he called construction dust. The people were taking part in a signature illusion that appeared to make them vanish onstage and appear a few moments later in the back of the theater.

Copperfield said he didn't know whether there as a powdery residue near a trash bin in an MGM Grand alley. He said he passed through the same outdoor alley alone while performing another illusion about 10 minutes earlier, and didn't notice any debris.

"If in fact there was construction dust, could that be your fault if someone fell and got hurt?" Morelli asked.

Copperfield responded that he couldn't answer a hypothetical question before proceedings ended for the day.

The 61-year-old performer is due to return to the witness stand next Tuesday for more testimony in Clark County District Court.

Cox, a resident of Kent, England, claims lasting brain and body injuries and more than $400,000 in medical expenses. He and his wife, Minh-Hahn Cox, are seeking unspecified damages in their lawsuit, which also names as defendants the MGM Grand, show producer Backstage Employment and Referral, and construction firm Team Construction Management.

Copperfield's lawyers lost pretrial bids to close proceedings to the public to avoid disclosing performance secrets, although Judge Mark Denton has said some portions of Copperfield's testimony might still be conducted behind closed doors.

Ex-Playboy model settles lawsuit over alleged Trump affair

A former Playboy model who said she had a 10-month affair with President Donald Trump settled her lawsuit Wednesday with a supermarket tabloid over an agreement that prohibited her from discussing the relationship publicly.

Karen McDougal's settlement with the company that owns the National Enquirer "restores to me the rights to my life story and frees me from this contract that I was misled into signing nearly two years ago," she said in a statement Wednesday.

In August 2016, the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc., paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story about the alleged relationship, but the story never ran.

Last month, McDougal filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles asking to invalidate the contract, which she said she was misled into signing. The suit alleged that the company didn't publish the story because AMI's owner, David Pecker, is "close personal friends" with Trump. It also charged that Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, had inappropriately intervened and was secretly involved in discussions with AMI executives about the agreement.

Federal agents raided Cohen's office and residence last week seeking any information on payments made in 2016 to McDougal and porn actress Stormy Daniels, according to people familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly. Daniels has said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. The search warrants also sought bank records, records on Cohen's dealings in the taxi industry and his communications with the Trump campaign, the people said.

Under the settlement agreement, McDougal can keep the $150,000 she was paid and AMI has the rights to up to $75,000 for any future profits from her story about the relationship. The company also retains the rights to photographs of McDougal that it already has, the settlement said.

AMI had argued McDougal had been allowed to speak about her relationship since 2016 and the contract gave the company discretion over whether to publish the story.

In an interview with CNN that aired last month, McDougal said Trump tried to pay her after their first sexual tryst at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2006. McDougal said she continued the relationship with Trump for about 10 months and broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty.

The White House has said Trump denies having an affair with McDougal. Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006.

"My goal from the beginning was to restore my rights and not to achieve any financial gain, and this settlement does exactly that," McDougal said. "I am relieved to be able to tell the truth about my story when asked, and I look forward to being able to return to my private life and focus on what matters to me."

Miss America pageant gets funding to stay in Atlantic City

New Jersey officials have approved $4.3 million in state subsidies to keep the 2019 Miss America pageant in Atlantic City.

The state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved the funding Tuesday after months of uncertainty over the pageant's future.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that the pageant's contract was under scrutiny after emails surfaced showing the Miss America CEO disparaging the appearance and intellect of former pageant winners.

Sam Haskell resigned as CEO in December 2017, along with other board members. The pageant is now led by former Fox News Channel anchor and 1998 Miss America Gretchen Carlson.

The chairman of the authority board of directors says officials were encouraged by the pageant's description of the 2019 competition as having a focus on women's empowerment.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

Tribeca opens with 'Gilda,' and De Niro comes out swinging

The 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened Wednesday with pugnacious political words from Robert De Niro and the tender opening-night premiere, "Love, Gilda," an intimate celebration of the beloved comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" star Gilda Radner.

Lisa D'Apolito's documentary opened the New York festival in a star-studded screening at New York's Beacon Theatre that drew generations of "SNL" cast members, including original member Laraine Newman and Tina Fey, who poignantly introduced the film. "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase and Billy Crystal also came to see D'Apolito's documentary, which closely follows Radner's meteoric rise, her struggles with eating disorders and depression and her tragically young death from cancer, through readings from Radner's personal diaries.

Speaking for herself and "SNL" cast mates Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch, Fey said Radner — a frizzy-haired force of genuine and joyous comic spirit — made an indelible impression on their generation of female performers.

"She was so authentically herself and so regular, in so many ways," said Fey, breaking up. "She was who she was on the TV. We all saw that and were like: 'I want to do that, and it's possible.' It was an early example to me of how important representation is for everyone from every walk of life. Gilda was our equivalent of Michelle Obama."

It was the second time in a handful of years that Tribeca turned to its fellow New York institution, "SNL," for opening night. In 2015, the documentary "Live From New York!" kicked off the festival. And it also came just days after De Niro, who co-founded Tribeca with his producing partner Jane Rosenthal, appeared on "SNL" as Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a sketch. Wednesday on the "Today" show, De Niro said he would like to reprise the part.

"I hope there's a couple where I interrogate him then I arrest him and then I escort him to jail," De Niro said, referring to President Donald Trump.

De Niro has been among the most vocal and bluntest of Trump's critics, frequently excoriating the president. He has, for example, previously said he'd like to punch Trump in the face. As the curtain went up on the 17th Tribeca, De Niro couldn't help using the festival's megawatt spotlight to direct his considerable ire at Trump.

At a kickoff luncheon for press, De Niro referred to Trump as "our Lowlife-in-Chief" and rejected what he referred to as the president's narrow definition of America.

"The country has had a bad year, and you — the press — have taken a lot of hits," De Niro told the reporters in attendance. "America is being run by a madman who wouldn't recognize the truth if it came inside a bucket of his beloved Colonel Sanders Fried Chicken."

Festival organizers said this year's Tribeca has been programmed with some of De Niro's fighting spirit.

"In the face of this inhumanity, we stand definitely against the forces that are tearing our country apart from the inside," said Jane Rosenthal, also a founder of the festival. "We stand with Time's Up, Never Again and Black Lives Matter and underserved voices."

Some elements of this year's Tribeca, which runs through April 29, are pointedly political. The closing night selection is Liz Garbus' "The Fourth Estate," an upcoming Showtime documentary series that captures The New York Times reporting on Trump's first year in office. The Jay-Z produced series "Rest in Power: The Travyon Martin Story" documents the 2012 shooting of the 17-year-old in Florida.

The festival will also hold a daylong Time's Up event on April 28, featuring hours of conversations with the initiative advocating for gender equality. Of the festival's 99 features, 46 percent are directed by women, the most in Tribeca's history. Rosenthal has credited that percentage in part with the makeup of Tribeca Enterprises, which she said is 80 percent female.

Ahead of the premiere, D'Apolito — a first-time director — spoke of her deep admiration for he groundbreaking subject.

"Even in the darkest of times," said D'Apolito, "she could find the funny in it."

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

Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay to serve on the Cannes jury

Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay will serve on the Cannes Film Festival jury that will choose this year's Palme d'Or winner, the French festival announced Wednesday.

The French film festival Wednesday announced the jury that will serve under Cate Blanchett. Also joining them are filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, French actress Lea Seydoux, Chinese actor Chang Chen, French director Robert Guediguian, Burundian singer Khadja Nin and Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Thierry Fremaux, the festival's artistic director, recently said that Cannes is paying more attention to "the gender ratio" on selection committees. Blanchett's jury will feature five women and four men. Some have criticized Cannes for not selecting more films directed by women. This year, there are three movies by female filmmakers in competition for the Palme.

The 71st annual Cannes Film Festival runs May 8 through May 19.

Parkland students David and Lauren Hogg have book deal

Two students who survived the deadly mass shooting this year at a Florida high school have a book deal.

Siblings David and Lauren Hogg are working on "#NEVERAGAIN: A New Generation Draws the Line." Random House announced Wednesday that the book would come out June 5 and that the Hoggs were donating their proceeds to charity and community organizations.

The Hoggs and other students at the Parkland, Florida, school have become leading gun control advocates since the Feb. 14 tragedy that left 17 people dead.

Random House is calling the book "a moving portrait" of a new political movement. The publisher will make a donation to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization founded in 2014.

Groups partner to increase lagging US orchestra diversity

Hoping to increase diversity in American orchestras, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is making a $1.8 million grant over four years to three organizations joining together for a new initiative.

The League of American Orchestras, the New World Symphony and The Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based group trying to diversify the arts, said Wednesday they are partnering to create the National Alliance for Audition Support.

The league says the percentage of African-Americans in American orchestras has remained at about 1.8 percent from 2002-14 and the percentage of Latinos increased from 1.8 percent to 2.5 percent.

The NAAS plans to offer mentoring, audition preparation, financial support for audition travel and development, and showcases. It will start with an auditioning program in Miami hosted by the New World Symphony from June 6-8.

The Latest: First Saudi Arabian movie theater screens film

The Latest on Saudi Arabia screening film in first movie theater to open in the country (all times local):

9 p.m.

Saudi Arabia is screening the Hollywood blockbuster "Black Panther" in the first movie theater to open in the country.

Authorities welcomed guests at an invitation-only screening Wednesday evening of the movie in a concert hall that's been converted into a cinema complex in the capital, Riyadh.

Authorities say the theater in Riyadh will be open on Friday to the public to watch the flick and tuck into a bucket of popcorn. Tickets go on sale Thursday.

Over the past several years, Saudi Arabia has gradually loosened restrictions on movie screenings, with local film festivals and screenings in makeshift theaters. In the 1970s, there were informal movie screenings, but the experience could be interrupted by the country's religious police.

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12:15 p.m.

Saudi Arabia will hold a private screening of the Hollywood blockbuster "Black Panther" to herald the launch of movie theaters that are set to open to the public next month.

Authorities are planning an invitation-only screening of the movie in a concert hall that's been converted into a cinema complex in the capital, Riyadh.

Wednesday's screening will be followed by a rush to build movie theaters in major cities.

Over the past several years, Saudi Arabia has gradually loosened restrictions on movie screenings, with local film festivals and screenings in makeshift theaters. In the 1970s, there were informal movie screenings, but the experience could be interrupted by the country's religious police.

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