by Kat Giantis
Dec. 29, 2004
Santa didn't deliver this year for Renee Zellweger. While the rumor mill had the Oscar winner poised to become Mrs. Jack White before the New Year dawned, she's now back on the market, with her rep confirming to People that she and the White Stripes rocker have once again called it quits.
The mouthpiece claims the low-profile couple went belly-up in September, and follows standard celebrity split operating procedure by adding that they "remain good friends. No scandal. No new relationships."
The "Bridget Jones" star reportedly spent a traditional Christmas with her family, celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus by watching Shaq take on Kobe during the Los Angeles Lakers-Miami Heat game in L.A.
Renee, 35, met White, 29, on the rural Romanian set of "Cold Mountain" in mid-2003, and since then they've maintained a light bulb relationship -- on-again and off-again.
Breakup talk hit a fever pitch in early October when Zellweger told the London Sun, "There's nobody else in my life right now. I'm just not interested at the moment. You know, I'm always on a set or on a plane but we'll see."
At the time, her publicist insisted the tight-lipped twosome were doing "fine," and before long talk began to swirl that Renee was set to ditch L.A. for White's hometown of Detroit.
In November, Zellweger dismissed the persistent rumors of a Christmas wedding, telling Us, "I'm not engaged and I've never been engaged," although she did talk wistfully of taking me-time in 2005 to be "just a girl." The actress will be able to follow through on her plans -- albeit as a swinging singleton -- as she has no film projects on the horizon.
"I just want to find myself again and just be," she
explained to the Sun. "Be a grown-up woman with other pleasures than just
working all the time. I need to find out what makes me happy again, like time
spent with my friends, my dog, and my family."
Meanwhile, in other relationship news ...
Has Lucy Liu found a new squeeze? In Touch says the "Charlie's Angels" star, 36, has ended her year-long romance with playwright Zach Helm and is now seeing actor Will McCormack (and no, we've never heard of him either).
Kate Moss has rekindled her romance with magazine publisher Jefferson Hack, the father of her 2-year-old daughter, reports London's Daily Mail. The couple split in early 2004 after three years of togetherness.
Just weeks after Les Moonves obtained a quickie divorce from his wife of 24
years, he's pledged to love another until the cold clammy hand of death parts
them. The Viacom mogul, 55, tied the knot with his girlfriend, "Early Show" host
Julie Chen, 34, in Acapulco last Thursday, reports the New York Post. About 30
friends and family, including Moonves' three children, attended the sunset
Heath Ledger and girlfriend Michelle Williams are still going strong. The pair cozied up during a sunny holiday Down Under, taking in the sand and surf in Sydney, says Australia's Daily Telegraph. The couple, who met on the set of the cowboy romance "Brokeback Mountain" (in the film, the lovin' is between Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal), hung out last week on the beach near the actor's swanky seaside digs.
Scarlett Takes a Swing at Jeter Rumors
Scarlett Johansson is using her publicity commitments for "A Love Song for Bobby Long" and "In Good Company" to hit back at the whispers that she's dating a very eligible Yankee.
"Recently I read I was dating Derek Jeter," the 20-year-old tells USA Today. "We were at a mutual friend's party, and no, we are not dating."
Reports of the major league hook-up started circulating soon after paparazzi caught Johansson planting a smooch on boyfriend Jared Leto as he indifferently checked the messages on his phone.
"It was creepy, horrible," she says of the November snaps. "As long as people keep buying tabloids, they'll keep harassing people in the public eye. They'll make up stories."
While Scarlett coyly refuses to disclose whether she and the grungy 33-year-old actor are still an item, she did have some choice words about the widely circulated rumor of a brief encounter with Benicio Del Toro, 37, in an elevator at L.A.'s Chateau Marmont after this year's Oscars.
You'll recall that in the June issue of Elle, Johansson made light of gossip linking her to the marble-mouthed Oscar winner. "Of course I know Benicio, and he's a fabulous guy," she told the mag. "Apparently there was somebody with us in an elevator, and we were making out or having sex or something -- which I think is very unsanitary."
Johansson is quick to put the kibosh on the elevator report and says she was mortified that her sarcasm was, uh, lost in translation (groan).
"I went home alone that night to my mom's house, but nobody cares about
that," she tells the paper. "It was so embarrassing. I felt horrible about the
way that portrayed Benicio Del Toro."
In other news, Johansson's "Love Song ..." co-star John Travolta is using his face-time with the press to chat up Scientology.
"It's a very practical way to live," he tells the Los Angeles Times. "It's not something you believe in. It's something that works. It has certainly worked for me." (Well, other than that whole "Battlefield Earth" thing, but moving on ...)
According to the paper, Travolta's two children, Ella Bleu, 4, and Jett, 12, (mom is actress Kelly Preston) attend a Scientology-based school in Los Angeles for three months out of the year. The rest of the time, they're home-schooled, with a curriculum that follows the tenets of the L. Ron Hubbard-founded spiritual movement.
The actor, 50, says Scientology is all about "being clear," with the deity aspect optional. "You can believe in God if you want," Travolta tells the Times. "Scientology allows freedom of thinking. It's based on freedom of thinking."
Portia's Tattoo Rue?
Love hurts, but probably not as much as removing the ink-stained remnants of a relationship that's bitten the dust. The New York Post says that Portia de Rossi, 31, has scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist in order to remove a tattoo on her finger that bears the initials of Francesca Gregorini, whom she allegedly jettisoned for Ellen DeGeneres, 46.
An insider tells the paper the "Arrested Development" beauty will attempt to laser off the indelible etching. If that fails, she'll try to cover it up with a different design.
The post-relationship tattoo removal is a rite of passage in eternally optimistic and hubris-filled Hollywood. Pamela Anderson had her ring-finger tattoo of "Tommy" changed to "Mommy" when her marriage to Tommy Lee went sour. Lee also covered up his matching finger band, although it remains a mystery whether he went under the needle to alter the tat of Pam's name he inked in a far more personal -- and painful -- place.
Roseanne had her "Property of Tom Arnold" posterior tattoo covered up after their acrimonious divorce (he snarked that the marker made him "the fourth largest property owner in California"), while Arnold had his Roseanne-centric tattoos removed altogether.
After his tumultuous relationship with Paris Hilton hit the skids, Nick Carter covered up his "Paris" wrist tattoo with a skull and crossbones. There's no word on the fate of the "Nick" tattoo Paris reportedly inked on her butt a few weeks before they broke up.
Other big names who have done some post-romance editing include skin art-loving Angelina Jolie, who had the "Billy Bob" tattoo removed from her upper arm after the demise of her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, and Johnny Depp, who changed the "Winona Forever" declaration on his arm to the more cynical "Wino Forever" when his affair with Winona Ryder crashed and burned.
Lindsay, Paris, and Wilmer, Oh My!
Has Lindsay Lohan found time in her jam-packed schedule of club-hopping and Colin Farrell cuddling to let her fingers do the walking with a soon-to-be married man?
The New York Post claims the slimmed-down and no longer exhausted teen queen has been phoning her "Freaky Friday" love interest Chad Michael Murray "all the time," despite his impending nuptials to his "One Tree Hill" co-star Sophia Bush.
Oh, and the paper says it isn't just Lohan, 18, who is reaching out and touching Murray: She's getting an assist from pal Paris Hilton.
"They call him and giggle and flirt," an insider tells the Post. "Then Lindsay will say, 'Oh, tell Sophia I said hi.' But it's just because she knows it will annoy her."
Which it apparently does. "She's annoyed," says the mole of the alleged high
school-ish hijinks, "but she will laugh and joke about it to her friends.
Sophia's not like Paris and Lindsay. She's a nice girl, not a party
In related news, the Post says Lindsay's ex, Wilmer Valderrama, is doing some spin control by saying the high-profile romance "hurt his career," despite the fact that he's now referred to by name instead of just "you know, that guy who plays Fez on 'That '70s Show.'"
"Wilmer didn't want what happened to Ben Affleck when he was dating J. Lo to happen to him when he was with Lindsay," a buddy helpfully explains. "He thinks all that press was bad for his career."
Meanwhile, the exes will find out whether Miami is big enough for the both of them on New Year's Eve. The former lovebirds are reportedly scheduled to attend different hip happenings that night, with Lohan set to ring in 2005 with Jessica Alba at Opium Garden, while Wilmer will watch the ball drop from Mansion.
And finally, let's say goodbye to 2004 the same way we spent much of the year
-- with us in a shame spiral over the continued scrutiny of Lohan's cleavage.
"Where did Lindsay Lohan's breasts go?" the goodplasticsurgery.com website ponders this week, speculating that the pneumatic starlet's cups aren't quite running over as much as they once did.
Our guess is this is simply a result of her dramatic recent weight loss, but we suggest interested parties spend the remainder of 2004 engaging in a soul-crushing examination of the evidence in order to get to the bottom of this burning issue.
Usher's Scantily Clad Christmas Surprise
Usher doesn't seem to be too broken up about the end of his romance with Naomi Campbell. Not only was the chart-topping, Grammy-hording crooner recently spotted breaking bread with actress Joy Bryant, but he's also been spending time with a fame-craving hip-hop video starlet, reports the New York Daily News.
Karrine Steffans, who's appeared in vids for Jay-Z and R. Kelly, has reportedly been popping in on Usher on the Los Angeles set of the mobster drama "Dying for Dolly," and last week, a spy tattles to the paper, she climbed out of a car with him at his hotel wearing nothing but a robe.
Steffans, who in a September press release boasted that she is "rumored to have a little black book to rival" that of Heidi Fleiss, was only too happy to dish about her Usher connection.
"We're old friends who have seen each other over the last five years," she tells the paper. "Currently, [Usher and I are] seeing each other personally."
As for her lack of coverage in the car, she explains, "I was a surprise for him after a hard day's work. I was his Christmas present. I had on a bow. He got his gift in the car." And Karrine is now receiving her gift -- oodles of free PR. Don't ya just love the holiday season?
Anyhoo, the gift-wrapped up-and-comer, who also appeared in the Vin Diesel turkey "A Man Apart," expects big things to happen in her future. In the aforementioned press release, she boasts, "Karrine is said to be an amazing writer as well as producer, actress and overall career person. From the looks of things, she is utilizing all of her attributes to their fullest capacity." Indeed.
Jessica's Daddy Dearest
Our most fervent wish for the New Year? That Jessica Simpson's dad would stop creeping us out. The latest round of squickiness from former youth minister-turned-Svengali, er, manager Joe Simpson involves the self-described "promise ring" he gave to a 12-year-old Jessica, with the band serving as a symbol that he'd be the only guy in her life (i.e. she'd remain a virgin) until she got married.
"I was serious about saying to Jessica, 'You know what? I am gonna be the dad that tells you how beautiful you are every day, and I'm gonna be the dad that says even when you make a mistake you're still special, and I am gonna do that until the day you find a man who will do it and take my place,' so that's what the ring was about," he tells Access Hollywood. "What greater gift can you give your husband than to say, 'The most important gift I have is not my money, not fame, just me never touched by another man for you.'"
Altogether people: Ew. Also, anyone else feeling a whole lot of sympathy for Nick Lachey right about now? Thought so.
This makes the second time this month that Simpson has managed to make our ooky meter fly into the red. He recently crowed to GQ about his daughter's ginormous genetic gifts.
"Jessica never tries to be sexy,'' he gushed. "She just is sexy. If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she's sexy in both. She's got double D's! You can't cover those suckers up!"
Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to less "oy" and more joy in 2005!