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STEALTH LOVE: Marc & Jen

Yes, they’re married. But Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony preferred to keep their profile low while making the most of a weekend together

Weeks after their June 5 wedding, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are still keeping PDAs to a minimum. But the couple did show a little love—albeit some 25 feet from each other—at a salsa concert in Miami Beach on June 18. Anthony, wearing a pendant engraved with “Jenny,” sang “Nadie Como Ella” (“Nobody Like Her”) while pointing to Lopez, who adoringly met his gaze from the VIP balcony above the stage. Throughout the night, she joined the crowd in cheering, clapping and singing along with the music. But when the audience began to chant “J-Lo, J-Lo, J-Lo,” Lopez smiled broadly, remaining with her entourage of eight people and leaving the spotlight to Anthony.

The following night, the two bought almost every seat at the Regal Cinema theater in Miami Beach to attend a 5:30 p.m. showing of Shrek 2 with friends. In their now typical secretive manner, Anthony and Lopez snuck into the theater through a back entrance by the parking lot. Lopez, wearing jeans with a baseball cap and sunglasses, “didn’t want anyone to notice her,” says a theater employee.

Madonna: Yes, I’m Esther

Among the recent signs of Madonna‘s deepening involvement with the Kabbalah spiritual teachings: confirming she adopted the name Esther; flashing Hebrew letters on video screens during her concert tour; and, on June 17, helping Rabbi Yehuda Berg, a Kabbalah leader, celebrate his 31st birthday at Solo, a kosher restaurant in New York City.

The new name—which she uses at Kabbalah centers—was chosen some time ago with help from Berg, says a Kabbalah spokeswoman. Why Esther, which last made it into New York City’s annual list of top 10 popular monikers in 1898? “I read about all the women in the Old Testament and I loved the story of Queen Esther,” Madonna told ABC’s 20/20. “She saved the Jews from annihilation.” At home it’s another story. “Her kids call her Mommy,” says the spokeswoman. Almost everyone else still calls her Madonna.

As for the Hebrew letters at her concerts: Her rep says some translate into “let go of your ego,” a concept of Kabbalah, and names of God—a nod to Kabbalah and Berg, whose book The 72 Names of God and Web site http://www.72.com discuss the tools to “physical and emotional well-being.” The tribute continued following her June 17 New York City concert, when Madonna joined some 20 people, including designer Donna Karan, at Solo. At about 1 a.m., a source says, the group closed the doors to a private room for a service lasting more than an hour.

ROMANCE AFTER REALITY

After her breakup with Bachelor Bob Guiney last year, Estella Gardinier made a pact with a friend to take a year off from dating. “I wanted to focus on spending time with my mom and my friends,” says the Beverly Hills mortgage broker. That was before she met country singer Steve Holy. “As they say, when you’re not looking, that’s when it hits you.” Gardinier, 28, was attending the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in May when her friend, Trick Pony guitarist-singer Keith Burns, introduced her to Holy, 32, who’s known for his 2002 No. 1 hit “Good Morning Beautiful.” Gardinier says she was “so pleased” that he had never even watched The Bachelor. Says Holy: “I love that she’s very funny, very sarcastic.” Lately they’ve been inseparable. “It’s been more of the same fireworks we felt early on,” says Holy. “We haven’t tapered off one bit. All we do is laugh.”

What’s Behind Paris?

Answer: an aluminum Airstream trailer that Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie called home while making The Simple Life 2.

BACK TO WORK

Kirstie Alley is back before the cameras, looking different than fans of Cheers and Veronica’s Closet may remember. “If I am fat, I am fat,” she told Entertainment Tonight last week, during a break from filming While I Was Gone, a TV movie about a veterinarian who revisits her past. The 5’8″ Alley, 53, who reportedly weighs nearly 300 lbs., said she basically put her career on hold to focus on raising her children Lillie and William, 10 and 11, after Veronica’s Closet was canceled in 2000. So what happened? “I’m cooking. I’m making pies and cakes. It was like one Christmas holiday for four years.” Producer Richard Fischoff says weight is “not a point of the movie” Alley is filming in Winnipeg, where she charmed residents by donating a brunch with her for a police benefit. He adds, “I think what Kirstie brings to it is a reality—she doesn’t look like she stepped out of a magazine.”

POP QUIZ

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd plays Linda Lee Porter, wife and muse of Cole Porter, in De-Lovely, the new film about the songwriter’s life. Scoop spoke with Judd, 36, about old songs and married life with race car driver Dario Franchitti.

Did you know much about Cole Porter’s music before making the film?

I learned about Cole Porter through Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald renditions. And then when we were working on the movie, I couldn’t believe that all of those great songs with which I was familiar were written by him.

Is your husband comfortable with you kissing other men onscreen?

Who is comfortable with that? I think he’s fairly comfortable on-set. He’s very sweet and supportive.

Has your mom [country singer Naomi Judd] started asking about when you’ll have kids?

She’s so charming about it that I don’t mind her little remarks. I still give her a dirty look [when she asks] because I wouldn’t be a dutiful daughter if I didn’t.

Still a vegetarian?

I am not doing that anymore. I would actually like to be and I think my body would like for me to be, but I just fell off the wagon and I have been too lazy to do anything about it.

Too lazy to cook?

I can modestly say that I bake really, really good cakes and pies. Cream pies in the winter and fruit pies in the summer.

You injured your foot in February while doing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway. Have you healed?

A little bit. I’ve still got an orthotic in my shoe, but it’s coming along. I didn’t realize how hurt I was until my cast came off. And then it was like oh, it’s not better yet? It’s one of those ligament things that’s ongoing.

What film made you want to become an actress?

The Dollmaker [a 1984 TV movie starring Jane Fonda]. It was about people from eastern Kentucky, so it was the double whammy of a great female performance and it was about my people.

ON THE BLOCK

MERYL MOVES

PRICE: $12 million

PLACE: New York City

SPECS Meryl Streep is selling the five-story, eight-bedroom, redbrick townhouse in Greenwich Village she bought in 1995 (right) and planning to move into a $9.95 million, 3,944-sq.-ft. pent-house in nearby Tribeca. The new apartment, at the top of a 13-story building, features glass walls on three sides.