TOME HITS THE TOWN
Tom Cruise has been getting his groove on. On Feb. 17 the usually reserved star turned up at L.A. rock club the Viper Room to catch pal Jada Pinkett Smith and her band, Wicked Wisdom. Though he tried to blend into the Sunset Strip scene, Cruise, sitting in a booth with his cousin, actor William Mapother (Lost), was hard to miss when his dinner—prime rib and shrimp cocktail—was hand-delivered on a tray from the nearby Wyndam Bel Age hotel. Three nights later, Cruise joined ex-girlfriend Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Christina Aguilera and others to fete Jamie Foxx at a bash thrown by Smith and her husband, Will. It was there that Tom met stunning Colombian model-actress Sofia Vergara. Later the two were among a group of partygoers who caught a quick bite at Jerry’s Famous Deli at 3:45 a.m. before a chivalrous Cruise escorted her home in his car. Is the actor bouncing back from his breakup with Cruz? His rep would not comment.
A WEB OF CELEBS
Young Hollywood came out in force to Friday-night hot spot Spider Club Feb. 18. Scarlett Johansson peeked over a wall of bodyguards as Nick Lachey and Jessica and Ashlee Simpson gobbled up dad Joe Simpson’s birthday cake. Across the room, Jake Gyllenhaal showed off his hip-hop moves as Eve and members of Maroon 5 cheered him on. But things really got wild after 1 a.m., when Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz rolled in for a champagne-fueled going-away party. The couple were set to leave for Africa (where Diaz is shooting her MTV environmental show Trippin’) the next day. When an overzealous pal crawled under Diaz’s table and accidentally knocked it over, Timberlake laughed and kept dancing as the bottles and glasses crashed to the floor.
GULFSTREAM PARK, HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. Feb. 18 Matt Damon plays the ponies, winning $30 on the third race. Still learning to handicap horses, he tells a track staffer, “There’s no substitution for dumb luck.”…
BUNGALOW 8, N.Y.C. Feb. 19 In the early hours of his 39th birthday, Benicio Del Toro lounges in a booth with friends, one banquette away from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who arrive at 2 a.m…. SHELTER, L.A. Feb 19 The Entourage cast—including Jeremy Piven and Kevin Connolly—sit at the club’s best table while Mischa Barton and Prince (in high-heeled shoes that glow red) hang separately at a private party in the bar downstairs.
Dreamworks mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Night Before party is fast becoming the big party of Oscar week. Eastwood, Foxx, Cruise, DiCaprio, Depp, Bening, Cheadle and Winslet are just a few names on the confirmed guest list for Saturday’s casual-dress affair at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which raises money for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Nobody goes home empty-handed. Gift bags include Target’s Isaac Mizrahi-designed pajamas, Fontopia headphones from AOL and an HP iPod (decorated by Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson or Courteney or David Arquette). Guests also get a raffle ticket for prizes including a Jaguar coupe from Ford and six courtside box seats for the U.S. Open women’s tennis final, courtesy of JPMorgan.