BREAKUP BRUCE & BROOKE
After a world tour of love—including kissing stops in Costa Rica, along the Champs-Elysées and at Yankee Stadium—Willis and Burns call it quits
Bruce Willis spent Memorial Day weekend in Hailey, Idaho, with ex-wife Demi Moore; their daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah; and Moore’s steady man, Ashton Kutcher. But where was Brooke Burns, the former host of NBC’s reality show Dog Eat Dog and starlet of Baywatch: Hawaii, who’d been dating Willis and attending parties and premieres with the extended clan since August? Answer: Just days before the long weekend, “Bruce and Brooke decided amicably to break up,” says a source. “It was a career decision.” While the couple celebrated their birthdays (his 49th and her 26th) in March with a romantic trip to Paris—where they bought matching Cartier plain platinum wedding bands, though their reps insisted they weren’t engaged—Burns has been in Hawaii since April filming her new TV series North Shore. “It’s very difficult to maintain a relationship when they’re 3,000 miles apart,” says a friend of the couple’s.
Willis, though, appears to be recovering from the breakup. He hosted a pool party at his compound in Hailey, Idaho on May 30, where his daughters happily drove ATVs back and forth between his complex and Moore’s house across the street. And later that evening he didn’t seem too fazed when Moore and Kutcher showed up at The Mint, Willis’s nightclub, and proceeded to kiss and nuzzle each other while Willis and his band, the Accelerators, played hard-rocking rhythm and blues just 20 feet away. The band took a 10-minute break, and Willis ducked backstage, returning in a faded, holey Speed Racer T-shirt. “Do you like this shirt?” he asked the crowd. “This shirt is probably older than most of you girls in the front row.” Watch out, ladies. Bruce—who played until the 2 a.m. closing time, long after Kutcher and Moore left the club—is back on the market.
FOR WOLF, A PARTY OF TWO
They met and fell in love in New York City two years ago and plan to settle in Santa Monica. Still, Scott Wolf, 36, and Kelley Limp, 27, were determined to impress their friends from both coasts by tying the knot far from the madding media crowd. Which they did, quietly, on the Saturday before Memorial Day at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Ark. “I grew up here and love it,” Limp, the resident vixen on MTV’s The Real World: New Orleans in 2000 and now a television marketer in L.A., told a local reporter, “and I think Scott”—a former costar of FOX’s ’90s series Party of Five—”has sort of grown to love it [too].” Following a dinner of stuffed quail and legs of lamb, the newlyweds are honeymooning in Africa.
AN INDY WIN FOR DAVE
“I haven’t had anything to drink in 30 years, and I feel like I’m drunk right now,” a giddy David Letterman said following his team’s victory at the Indianapolis 500 on May 30. Letterman, 57, a co-owner in legend Bobby Rahal’s racing group since 1996, watched from the pit as driver Buddy Rice took the checkered flag on the track. Later, he recalled the races of his youth. “The Speedway became my Major League Baseball,” said the Indianapolis native. “I can’t begin to describe the magic…the place is sacred.” But the late-night host wasn’t all serious. “Don’t mistake that I’m very important,” he tells Scoop of his role on the winning team. “All of the decisions I make have to do with catering.” Will he bring his 7-month-old son Harry Joseph with girlfriend Regina Lasko, 43, to watch next year? Says Letterman: “Most of those decisions are out of my control.”
CELEB DRAW: POKER TOURNEY
Who says girls can’t play? Laura Prepon, also known as Donna on That ’70s Show, stepped up to the table at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas on May 22 and outlasted the likes of fellow celebrity contenders Tobey Maguire, James Wood and Chris Masterson. “The first hour I kept my hands under the table because they were shaky,” says the first-time Series player. “But because I’m a girl, I really had to get respect at the table.” And respect she got. The 24-year-old actress made it through two days of the six-day tournament (Maguire busted out after a little more than 12 hours) and was among the last 10 women standing. (Greg Raymer, 39, a patent attorney from Stonington, Conn., won the tournament—and $5 million—May 28 at Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel & Casino.) Prepon has had her fair share of practice. “We call my house the Hillhurst Casino because I live on Hillhurst,” she says. “When I come home there are eight guys in my living room playing poker. It’s awesome.” And where was Ben Affleck, one of Hollywood’s premiere poker players? He participated in some pre-series games but skipped the bulk of the tournament to play in the high-stakes poker parlor at the Palms casino across town.
COINING A HERO
The Iraq War’s most famous POW, former Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, spent Memorial Day selling American Heroes commemorative-coin sets at $99 each on the Home Shopping Network. A portion of the profits—no one’s saying exactly how much—will be donated to Lynch’s foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of military personnel injured or killed in battle. Reps for the Professional Coin Grading Service, which makes the coin sets, say 20,000 have been sold already. “I just got contacted and agreed to it and feel honored to be the first one on the hero coin,” Lynch, 21, told Tampa’s WTSP-TV.
Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal split up in 1997 after 17 years together. But could the ’80s supercouple be rekindling an old flame? They’ve been spotted around Los Angeles recently strolling arm in arm on the beach and slow dancing at a charity event. Fawcett, 57, and O’Neal, 63, say they keep in touch because of their son Redmond, 19. “They share an affection for each other,” says a rep for the pair, “but it doesn’t go beyond that.”
He’s the cat in the hat and the shoes: In Shrek 2, Antonio Banderas plays Puss in Boots as a hit kitty for hire, out to whack the lead ogre. Think Zorro with hair balls. Scoop caught up with Banderas, 43, to chat about his inner feline, future plans and working—or, more precisely, not working—with Eddie Murphy.
I have two cats.
Did you base your character on them?
I tried to do some research. [laughs]. Cats are very independent animals. They’re very sexy.
Is it a challenge playing a cat? Specifically this cat?
The character screams a lot. He coughs up hair balls. I was doing those things sometimes for 45 minutes.
And the problem was…?
I was singing at night [in the Broadway musical Nine]. I’d get to the play, and the girls working with me said, “You sound horrible.” I said it wasn’t my fault, it’s the cat.
What was it like working with Eddie Murphy, who plays Donkey?
I don’t know. I’ve never seen him in person. We were totally separated.
Was there a little bit of Zorro in Puss in Boots?
What do you think?
You starred in Zorro more than five years ago. What’s up with Zorro 2?
I’m going to start [filming] the new one on July 26 in Mexico. It’s a beautiful story, more mature than the first one. The concepts are mature, like jealousy, and the relationship between father and son.
Any chance you’ll make a new movie with your wife, Melanie Griffith?
I’ve never liked watching real-life couples play couples onscreen or onstage. It takes me out of the story. I would like to direct Melanie again. That’s something we are talking about.
You’ve made a lot of films the past few years—some good, some not so good. Why the rush?
I worked a great deal in order to buy my financial freedom. I was frantic, and there’s no question I made some mistakes. I’m not all that sorry, because I am now in the position to do only projects for myself.
ON THE BLOCK
HOUSE OF HILTON
PRICE: $6.3 million
PLACE: Long Island, N.Y.
SPECS: Socialite sisters Paris and Nicky Hilton spent their summers at this Southampton estate owned by their parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton. The 10,500-sq.-ft. retreat built in 1992 on 2.7 acres features deeded ocean access, six bedrooms and a pool. The property is hedged for privacy.