Nice rebound!

Penelope Cruz and Tom Cruise admit to dating; Minnie Driver denies tension with Streisand. Plus: Eminem's ex busted for drugs; and Iggy Pop demands dressing room dwarves!

Published July 18, 2001 4:47PM (EDT)

Do you suppose they lied to us?

For months, Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz have insisted that there's nothing romantic between them. Those loving-looking photos of them from the set of "Vanilla Sky," which they were filming as Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman crumbled, were all about being in character, they said. ("You thought those pictures were real?" an apparently incredulous Cruz asked one reporter.) They were, they swore, just friends.

Now it turns out they're friends ... who date. Cruise's publicist, Pat Kingsley, has told Entertainment Tonight that her client "has had a couple of dates" with his Spanish costar since his birthday bash in L.A. on July 6.

"They saw each other a couple of times. They dated last week," Kingsley later told USA Today. "He's allowed, she's allowed."

Fine. But as to whether the romance is really that recent is anyone's guess. And don't expect to get a straight answer out of Cruz.

"It's such an absurd invasion of privacy," she told the Calgary Sun of questions of a personal nature, "which is why actors lie so much about their private lives."

Very cagey for someone facing the distinct prospect of going by the name Penelope Cruz-Cruise.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Lessons from the big C

"The way I look at it is like this, I've run too many red lights and gotten away with it for a long time, but it kinda caught up with me. I believe that God doesn't lay this on you unless you're supposed to learn something."

-- Eddie Van Halen on cancer as karmic justice, in Maximum Golf.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Minnie wants a small one

Minnie Driver's future step-mother-in-law may contend that people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. But Driver herself is apparently a person who doesn't need a lot of people gaping at her on her wedding day.

"It is not going to be a big event," Driver, who is engaged to Barbra Streisand's stepson Josh Brolin, told the U.K. Mirror this week. "I want it to be a small family affair. There won't be millions of guests, that's for sure.

"Josh is my partner in crime, the man for me. And this is about us. I don't want a big fuss."

What's more, Driver says, all those reports about she and Babs clashing over who will design her wedding dress are faker than her American accent. "I won't be wearing a white dress," she says, "So there won't even be any bother over who designs it."

And as for the music, Driver says she has yet to consult Streisand. "I haven't even thought of asking her to sing."

Well, if she does, I hope she doesn't ask her to sing "The Way We Were."

- - - - - - - - - - - -

When in doubt, attack the POTUS

"George W. Bush was governor and almost president before they discovered his drunk driving [arrest]. The FBI has had spies they knew nothing about for years. If even the best government agencies can't find certain things out; how is a TV network supposed to?"

-- An unidentified "network veteran" on CBS's failure to detect knife-wielding "Big Brother" contestant Justin Sedik's arrest record, despite having put him through a background check, in Variety.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Juicy bits

You think you have regrets? Talk to record exec Jimmy Lenner, who once opted to pass on an unknown singer named Madonna. "I do not feel that she is ready yet," Lenner wrote in a rejection letter to the nascent Material Girl that is being auctioned off today on sotheby', "but I do hear the basis for a strong artist. I will pass for now but I will wait for more." I hope he's not still waiting ...

I guess it wasn't powdered sugar after all. Eminem's ex Kim Mathers has been charged with drug possession in connection with that "white powdery substance" Michigan police found in the back of their patrol car when she was brought in during a jet-ski incident the other day. "The drugs were not hers," her lawyer told the Detroit News. Give that man a raise.

While Billy Bob Thornton's bride Angelina Jolie has been talking incessantly about getting pregnant, Thornton dumpee Laura Dern has actually gone out and done it. Dern says she and Ben Harper, the singer/songwriter with whom she's been keeping company these last six months, are expecting their first child. According to USA Today, the actress is thrilled. So the rest of us should do our best to forget that film "Citizen Ruth."

Iggy Pop, who makes fun of diva-ish star behavior on his new album, "Beat 'Em Up," has startled organizers of a Scottish concert with a list of backstage demands that goes way beyond green M&M removal. According to the Scottish Daily Record, among other things, the punky rocker demanded "seven dwarves dressed up as those dwarves out of that film about the dwarves. You know the one. Cinderella?" Quipped one organizer, "Getting hold of seven dwarves isn't exactly a tall order, but it won't be easy." Ba-dum-bum.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

By Amy Reiter

MORE FROM Amy Reiter

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Celebrity Iggy Pop Tom Cruise