September 26, 2005 12:00 PM

Matt to Marry

Matt Damon pops the question to his girlfriend Luciana Barroso

At the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 4 Matt Damon maintained his usual New England cool, even amid buzz that he was set to wed his girlfriend of about two years, Luciana Barroso. Asked by PEOPLE about the chatter, he laughed and held up his ringless finger: “I’m not married yet.”

The key word, it turns out, was “yet.” The 34-year-old actor is one big step closer after proposing to Barroso, 29, a single mom whom he met while she was working as a bartender in Miami Beach. In July Damon visited Bellevue, Wash., jeweler Steven Goldfarb and picked a “classic, elegant” platinum ring which he recently had sent to him. “He said he wanted to get the ring and get engaged,” says Goldfarb. “He was very pleased.” Now shooting The Good Shepherd with Angelina Jolie, Damon—who dotes on Alexia, Barroso’s 7-year-old daughter from her first marriage—hasn’t had much chance to kick back at his new 9,500-sq.-ft. Miami Beach pad. But the budding family will likely settle down soon. Says Damon’s brother Kyle: “I am thrilled. I like Lucy a lot. They make a fantastic couple.”

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Ashley’s Armpiece

Mini-mogul and NYU sophomore Ashley Olsen, 19, is dating Greg Chait, 27, says a source close to the businessman. The pair, friends for more than a year, have been seen smooching at the Dime, an L.A. bar where Chait’s a part-owner. On Sept. 10, the two were spotted in Manhattan at Tsubi, the hipster Australian streetwear store (he works for them). Olsen’s rep had no comment.

Keira’s Knight?

Are Keira Knightley, 20, and Australian deejay Kaz James, 22, dating? Yes, says his roommate. “He always goes over to her place in London.” The friend says the pair met at an Oscar party in March. But Knightley, who recently split from Irish model Jamie Dornan, denies it, telling PEOPLE, “There is no boy.”

Minnesota Getaway

Josh Hartnett, 27, and sweetie Scarlett Johansson, 20, spent several days living la vida local in his native Minnesota. On Sept. 6, the couple joined friends at the Bryant Lake Bowl, a funky bowling alley, bar and restaurant in Minneapolis. Next day the pair—Johansson in a baseball cap and jeans—stood in line to order at the city’s organic Birchwood Cafe. Another stop on their Twin Cities Tour: the casual Punch Pizza.

Rural Rendevous

Another weekend, another country jaunt for Nicole Kidman and country singer Keith Urban. On the heels of their trip to bucolic Woodstock, N.Y., for shopping and lunch, the two recently spent time in woodsy Litchfield County, Conn., dining in the garden of the Good News Cafe in Woodbury Sept. 3. (Kidman ordered the tofu special and the mocha pecan pie for dessert, reports the Hartford Courant.) They returned the following day for lunch. And though one onlooker said they “looked very together,” their reps insist the two are just friends.

A Simple Solution

The Simple Life 4 begins production next month, but filming its stars, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, could prove complicated. “They are just not on speaking terms,” says a friend of both. So how will the show go on? Producers declined comment. So Scoop contacted a relationship expert, TV psychologist Dr. Drew Pinsky, for help. “The problem with these sorts of feelings—envy, jealousy—is that they are primitive emotions set in a person’s character,” he says. “It’s almost impossible to talk them out of it. My way of dealing with it? If they are going to behave like children, then treat them like children. Give them a set of consequences like you would a child.”

An Emmy Reminder

The hot fashion accessory at the Emmy Awards? Magnolia pins donated by jewelry-maker Michelle Roy. Host Ellen DeGeneres and the presenters are expected to wear the jewelry, a replica of the Louisiana and Mississippi state flower, as reminders that Hurricane Katrina’s victims still need help. They are available at http://www.michelleroy; all proceeds go to the Red Cross.

Sharon Stone, Lyricist

Sharon Stone teamed with composer Denise Rich (and other contributors) to pen “Come Together Now,” a tune sung by 15 artists that will appear on an upcoming CD to benefit Hurricane Katrina survivors. A sampling of the lyrics: “Just when it seems that all your hope is gone/And pain is all that you can feel/When there’s no place for you to run or hide/Just remember one thing/There’s always someone there for you (Who really feels for you and cares).”

Bo’s House Call

American Idol singer Bo Bice made his contribution to Hurricane Katrina relief personal—temporarily donating his Helena, Ala., home to a New Orleans family left homeless by the floods. “I wanted to do anything I could,” Bice tells Scoop. He’ll live in Nashville and work on his recording career while the Booth family—two attorneys and their two children—tries to put their life back together in Helena over the next six to eight months. A friend of Bo’s heard about the family’s plight and passed the word; Bice, his friends and his church, New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian, refurbished the house for the new tenants. Perry Booth IV, 40, has yet to meet Bice but says, “I can’t wait to tell him how much it means that he extends a welcome to total strangers.”

Nick Talks Football

Singer, Newlywed and tabloid staple Nick Lachey has a new line on his résumé—sportscaster. He made his debut on ESPN’s College Game-day at the Sept. 3 Notre Dame-Pittsburgh football matchup and appears weekly. “I’d like to get into the traditions that surround college football,” Lachey tells Scoop—including learning the University of Michigan fight song. How’s the job going? “I’m living out the dream for a lot of my friends.” For someone else too. “There’s nothing I’d rather him do than talk about sports on ESPN,” says wife Jessica Simpson, adding, “Then I don’t have to hear it at home!”

Q + A

Sarah Jessica Parker
The smell of Sarah Jessica Parker? That would be Lovely—the name of her new fragrance. She talked to Scoop about her olfactory adventure.

Has your son James Wilkie, 2, sniffed it?

James Wilkie loves it! I was thrilled that he responded well because he’s very honest.

How so?

I mean, I’ve worn dresses and he will say “I don’t like it,” or “take it off or put your hair down.” I think a lot of it has to do with me leaving the house, because if my hair goes up and I’m wearing a pretty dress, he knows that means I’m leaving.

Matthew Broderick’s thoughts on your entrepreneurial spirit?

My husband was very much behind the idea. He said right away, “You should absolutely do this.” It was really nice, because he’s not a particularly demonstrative person. He doesn’t get overly enthusiastic about things.

So how about a clothing line?

Clothing is a very different animal. I love it and I’m a great consumer, but I don’t know that I have those skills.

What’s your dream line?

Mr. de la Renta and Narciso and Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga. My dream is what I see them do.

Will you be all over Fashion Week in New York?

No, I’m travelling for Lovely, and my son starts school. It’s amazing—he’s starting, and I can’t stop crying.

It has been said that 40 is the new 30. Are there style or makeup changes one must make at 40?

Listen, I wouldn’t dare tell any woman how to do anything. Women should feel comfortable and confident being who they are, whatever size, color, shape or age. The idea that skinny is beautiful is nuts. It doesn’t suit everybody; it’s not realistic for everybody. People don’t have the money to have trainers and child care and yoga teachers.

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