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Civil Actions

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore Play it cool for their children

Focus

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore appear to be saving the explosions for their next action flicks. Since announcing their split last June, the two have been models of civility. No sidewalk screaming matches. No public flings with cute young things. No verbal Scuds launched by dueling publicists. For those seeking a reason behind this era of divorce détente, a good place to start could be the couple’s kids. Moore and Willis seem determined to make their split a soft landing for Rumer, 10, Scout, 7, and Tallulah, 4. Mom and Dad, together, took the girls to a Spice Girls concert in Columbus, Ohio, last summer and have been sharing parenting in Paris, where Moore—filming a movie in France—-has enrolled the trio in an American school. Both parents attended an orientation session the first week of classes and later joined in a soccer team picnic. One observer noticed Bruce and Demi acting beyond the call of parental duty. “They stand around kissing and holding hands,” said the source. A brave face for the kids, or the start of a rapprochement? Neither side is saying. The couple wed back in 1987. Willis, then 32, was an active Hollywood bachelor best known as the star of television’s Moonlighting. Moore, then 25, had recently broken up with fiancé Emilio Estevez. They went on to superstar careers, yet managed to raise a family in their adopted town of Hailey, Idaho. As for divorce proceedings, no papers have been filed, and the stars’ respective spokespeople had no comment.

Master of Whose Domain?

It’s a shame Seinfeld went off the air, because there’s this great script idea floating around Manhattan. It goes like this: Jerry gets involved with a babe he met at the gym. She’s beautiful. She’s in shape. She’s a newlywed. At first, the bridegroom defends his wife’s honor, telling a newspaper columnist that she and Jerry are just friends. Then, however, he wakes up, smells the coffee, and denounces Jerry as a no-goodnik. Funny, huh? Well, maybe not so funny. This isn’t a sitcom; this is real life. The lady in question is 27-year-old Jessica Sklar, freshly minted bride of Eric Nederlander, 33, whose family owns several Broadway theaters and whose father, Robert, is a partner in the New York Yankees. The two apparently met at the trendy Reebok Sports Club on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and reportedly became more than gym buddies. “They knew each other from the gym before the wedding,” says Howard Rubenstein, Nederlander’s publicist. “[After they were married], she was staying out late with Seinfeld and coming home at 2 a.m., so Eric had his suspicions, and he confronted her. After he found out from her that she was acting inappropriately with Seinfeld, she moved out.

“Jessica’s relationship with Seinfeld was the cause of the split,” says Rubenstein. “The marriage is over.” Nederlander has begun divorce proceedings, although it’s not clear if Seinfeld’s name will come up. Sklar reportedly is in seclusion. And Seinfeld, who moved to New York City this summer, is mum.

Private Ryan Goes to Germany

It was a big hit this summer in the United States, leaving audiences stunned and weepy at its graphic depiction of D Day and its aftermath. But what would happen when Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan invaded Germany on Oct. 8? How would the children and grandchildren of Germany’s World War II generation react? About the same, it turns out. Although critics were less enthusiastic than their American counterparts—”Did Spielberg really have to foist this hero [stuff] with Tom Hanks upon us?”—the average Mann-auf-der-Strasse embraced Private Ryan. After a Berlin screening, the audience sat silently sobbing as the lights came up. “This film was so brutal,” sobbed one young German. “It really showed how horrible the war was.” And Heinz Moll, a 59-year-old economics professor who was a child when his hometown was destroyed by Allied bombing, said, “I was deeply impressed. I don’t feel this was an anti-German film; I feel it was antiwar.”

Second Fiddle

Gloria Estefan’s lively Latin beat will turn classical this fall when she films 50 Violins, the true story of a dedicated New York City teacher who refused to let budget cuts get in the way of preparing her students for a concert at Carnegie Hall. Meryl Streep plays the teacher, Roberta Tzavaras, a single mother who moved to East Harlem and taught the violin to deprived kids. That part belonged to Madonna until last July, when that show-business demon, “creative differences,” arrived on the set and the Material Girl parted ways with director Wes Craven. Fellow pop star Estefan will play Streep’s friend and coworker. It’s her first major film role, coming on the heels of a worldwide tour to promote her album Gloria.

Swing Time

Kevin Sorbo carried his own clubs at VH1’s annual Fairway to Heaven celebrity golf tournament Oct. 19 in Las Vegas. No sweat. “I am Hercules,” the mighty television star declared. Teri Hatcher, no stranger to strongmen since Lois & Clark, also had a super day on the links, playing the game she learned from her father.

That New Black Magic

In simpler times, one glance at Margaret Hamilton’s bent beak and green skin warned mere mortals that the Wicked Witch of the West was supernatural and nasty. No such luck with the new breed of spell casters variously portrayed, on screens large and small, by Shannen Doherty, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock and others.

In general your contemporary witch wouldn’t know eye of newt if it were served up on a Spago’s pizza. But the fashions have gotten better. Herewith, a look at which new witch does what.

Practical Magic (1998)

When it comes to potions, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock prefer “midnight margaritas” to anything stirred in a bubbling pot. They also make creative use of canned whipped cream on one visitor.

The Craft (1996)

Neve Campbell (second from right) and her fellow teen witches shoplift books from the local occult shop. They also spike a nice California red wine with drops of blood pricked from their fingers.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB)

Sarah Michelle Gellar is the wisecracking Valley Girl of unworldly creatures. She laments her lack of popularity with the “in” crowd at high school while using martial arts skills to slay the undead.

Charmed (The WB)

Three San Francisco sisters gain the family’s witching powers after reading an old book in the attic. Shannen Doherty floats aspirin bottles at the drugstore. Alyssa Milano forecasts the lottery results.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (ABC)

Melissa Joan Hart uses her special gifts to enliven high school by making the vice principal think like a teenager and turning the class snob into a pineapple. Her talking cat Salem has witchy powers too.

ON THE BLOCK

A SEASIDE CASTLE FOR JEREMY IRONS

Jeremy Irons’s idea of beachfront property isn’t exactly Malibu. The English actor has already taken six months off to restore Kilcoe Castle, a 15th-century ruin on the banks of Roaringwater Bay in West Cork, Ireland, that he bought for more than $250,000. Reports say the renovation will cost $1.7 million to outfit the floorless and roofless castle with four bedrooms, a library, kitchen, dining room, living room and chapel. “Jeremy fell in love with it,” Irons’s wife, actress Sinead Cusack, joked to the British press. “But she is the most demanding mistress, and she’ll probably bankrupt him.” Irons is thinking of using the castle—once the home of the McCarthy clan—as a holiday home for needy city children or as an artists’ retreat.