By Molly Lopez Ashley Williams
March 19, 2007 12:00 PM

HOUNSOU HEATS UP

What’s Blood Diamond star DJIMON HOUNSOU’s latest role? Babe magnet. On Feb. 15 the actor got cozy with CAMERON DIAZ at Hyde, where “they were totally vibing each other,” says a club-goer. “They danced really close.” Two weeks later Hounsou and KIMORA LEE SIMMONS held hands over lobster at Il Sole. And on March 3 he hung out with LINDSAY LOHAN at Teddy’s. Hounsou downplays the attention, saying, “I have been friends with all of these people [for years].” But a party circuit regular says there’s no denying his appeal: “He’s warm and genuinely happy—a rare thing in this town.”

CATE’S CLUTCH CAPER

Cate Blanchett was set to stroll down the Oscar red carpet carrying a $100,000 Lana Marks alligator purse (below)—that is, until the bag went missing the day before the show. An accident? “Pressure was [put] on Cate Blanchett to wear a Giorgio Armani handbag,” says a fashion insider. A rep for the designer insists, “She wanted the bag that worked best with [her Armani] dress…. She made her own decision.” The L.A.P.D. is investigating the disappearance.

FAST TAKES

JESSICA BIEL rang in her 25th birthday in style, jetting to Paris and attending designer Giambattista Valli’s show on March 2.

After just weeks, HAYLIE DUFF and A.J. DISCALA have split. “She’s fine with it,” says a source. (And how: Duff canoodled with KEVIN CONNOLLY at Area March 1.) Says an A.J. DiScala source: “It was definitely a mutual decision.”

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE added some spark to TIMBALAND’s surprise b-day bash March 5 at Dallas’s Ghostbar, beatboxing with the producer to “Rock Your Body” for guests including USHER and MISSY ELLIOTT.

Odd couple alert! MICK JAGGER and WARREN BEATTY noshed on burgers at L.A.’s Hyde Lounge March 5.

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