Ears wide open

Tom and Penelope call startled strangers on fans' phones; Aguilera's mom guards daughter's privacy, piercings; oops! Britney keeps forgetting to not call Mom at 4 a.m.!

Published January 23, 2002 5:23PM (EST)

Next time Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz are visiting in your town, answer the phone.

The small, dark and handsome lovebirds apparently had the time of their lives in London the other night, walking around outside the theater where their film "Vanilla Sky" was making its U.K. premiere, chatting up many of the nearly 2,000 assembled fans, signing autographs and using fans' cellphones to dial up their unsuspecting friends and family.

"You just don't expect Tom Cruise to give you a call," said startled mom Elaine O'Leary, who got a voice-mail message from Cruise after ignoring her call-waiting signal in order to continue a conversation with her ex-husband.

"I would rather have been speaking to Tom Cruise than my ex, that's certain," O'Leary told the BBC News Online.

"It was Tom's idea," Cruz told Peoplenews.com of the couple's decision to spend an hour bonding with their fans and hitting the speed dial. "He's very generous. Some of them have been here three hours."

Cruise said he had a ball fingering his fans' digitalia. "I was talking on people's phones," he said. "There were some shocked people on the line. It was wild. I don't wake up every day and have thousands of fans screaming my name."


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Fat, flat Gwynnie?

"I have body issues like every other woman. I'm insecure. I never think I'm thin enough or my breasts are big enough."

-- Gwyneth Paltrow on her body issues, in the London Daily Mail on Sunday.

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Lady Marmalade's mom's mad

Curious about precise locales of Christina Aguilera's piercings and her sexual predilections? Talk to the singer's mother. Only she ain't talkin'.

And she really wishes you'd stop asking such personal, prying questions.

"If you stop to think about it, it makes no sense and is highly disrespectful to demand details of one's personal life," Aguilera's mom, Shelly, said in a privacy plea posted on Aguilera's official Web site, where she sometimes answers fans' questions about her daughter. "People don't go up to a world-famous architect and say, 'I heard you like tattoos, but some are hidden. I think we should know precisely where each one is. So ... where are they?'

"Or the Nobel Prize-winning physician, hounded by reporters demanding to know the 'real' story on where he ate the night before. You won't see that, will you?" she points out. "So, why show respect to them, and not to actors, actresses and singers? Celebrities, like anyone else, can share the details they want to, and keep private whatever parts of their lives they wish."

Yes, but when was the last time you saw I.M. Pei publicly parading around in his lacy undergarments?

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No J.Lo-cut dresses

"I just said, 'Look, put a top on her. I'm gonna keep my shorts on, she's gonna keep hers on. Get the camera and shoot around it.' And that's out of devotion, love and respect to my wife."

-- Jim Caviezel, who starred with Jennifer Lopez in "Angel Eyes," on his insistence that J.Lo. keep her clothes on during their love scenes in that film, in the New York Post.

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Not a girl, not quite a considerate daughter

Looks like Christina Aguilera's mom isn't the only one with a pop-singing daughter to promote and protect.

Britney Spears' mom, Lynne Spears, has had her own hands full keeping fans up-to-date with her daughter's peripatetic career these days. And while she's not losing sleep about fans' prurient postings, she is losing sleep.

"Britney called me two nights this week from Europe," Lynne announced on her daughter's official Web site. "She makes me laugh because she always forgets the time change. Brit called at 1:50 a.m. one morning and 4 a.m. the other time."

When she realizes that she's dragged her mother out of bed, Lynne says, Britney "apologizes for about five minutes. Then we have a nice chat for about 30 minutes. It's a good thing I can go back to sleep easily!"

Alas for sleepy Mama Spears, there's no end in sight. "We have to check in with each other at least every other day," she says.


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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

By Amy Reiter

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Britney Spears Celebrity Tom Cruise