July 25, 2005 12:00 PM

ROMAN HOLIDAY

Their whirlwind romance tour still going strong, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes take a

Next stop for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? A family vacation in Italy. Isabella, 12, and Connor, 10—Cruise’s children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman—and the newly engaged couple sailed from Rimini to the Tremiti Islands in a five-cabin yacht. They then flew to Rome, where Cruise, 43, is filming Mission: Impossible 3. While Dad rehearsed, stepmom-to-be Holmes, 26, took the kids for spaghetti dinners. “They seemed to be getting along well,” says an onlooker. “Isabella was holding Katie’s hand, and they were chatting and laughing together.” Holmes and Cruise also found time for romantic strolls—and smooches—along the Tiber River.

Mischa, Brandon: It’s Over

After dating for more than a year, the O.C.’s Mischa Barton, 19, and Brandon Davis have split. “They are no longer together, but they remain close friends,” says Barton’s rep, who added that no third party was involved. Said a source close to Barton: “It developed over the last week.” The lanky actress and Davis, the grandson of late oil billionaire Marvin Davis, have been mainstays on the celebrity circuit. Recently the pair helped set the standard for international canoodling—they kissed in Saint-Tropez at the end of June—but breakup rumors plagued them this year, Still, as late as last month, while in Europe filming The Decameron, Barton told Scoop, “Everything is great[with us]. Don’t believe the things you read.”

BETTING ON VEGAS?

The next installment of Ocean’s Eleven? Perhaps a real-life Las Vegas hotel and casino fronted by costars Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Businessman Rande Gerber(Cindy Crawford’s husband) reportedly plans to open a new gambling spot with the two actors as frontmen—and Pitt as the building’s architect. (None of the principals would comment.) One Vegas insider bets that Gerber is floating the star names to attract investors and that Clooney and Pitt would serve as paid “consultants.” Meanwhile Pitt, 41, complaining of flulike symptoms, checked himself into Cedars-Sinai hospital in L.A. July 11 following a trip to Ethiopia with Angelina Jolie. He remained hospitalized at press time but was expected to be released soon.

JEN’S NIGHT OUT

Sometimes, a gal just needs a break. So after a month of filming the comedy The Break Up with Vince Vaughn in Chicago, Jennifer Aniston took a quick breather and flew back to Los Angeles. While she was home, she enjoyed a night out with fashion stylist and close friend Todd Shemarya. The two, pals for years, dined at sushi hot spot Nobu in Malibu on July 11. On the agenda? Simply catching up, according to one observer. The next morning, Aniston was on a private jet, headed back to the Windy City—where, says a security guard on the set, “She seems like a happy woman…. She’s cheerful.”

POP QUIZ

November’s

Courteney Cox Arquette

Courteney Cox Arquette plays a photographer coping with the murder of her boyfriend in November, an independent film shot on a shoestring budget and shown at last year’s Sundance festival. (The movie opens in New York and Los Angeles on July 22, and in other cities later.) Scoop caught up with the former Friend, 41.

How do you balance your film work, being a mom [to 1-year-old Coco], and your social life?

The hardest thing when you have a baby is keeping up with your friends. You find that what’s most important is a free moment with your baby. But everybody understands [why it’s tough to stay in touch], and when you see my little baby girl, you go, “Oh, okay.”

Why did it take a while to get this film to theaters?

We waited to release this movie because they wanted me to promote it at a certain time, because it’s not exactly going to be a summer blockbuster.

The film was shot in only 15 days. Was that tough?

I embraced and enjoyed it. I knew it was going to be difficult, and it was. I think we worked probably like 18 hours a day. We had a schedule and it was 15 days and that was it: $150,000 [budget]. Digital video. One take—two if we had time.

What are you looking to accomplish in movies?

I look for things that are fun to me, that would challenge me in some way. And when I say fun, I don’t mean necessarily make me laugh. Just something that I lose myself in.

Getting good scripts?

I’ve gotten some good ones. I’m going to be doing this movie with Tim Allen where I play a comic-book-obsessed scientist who wants to help some special children become superheroes.

What’s next?

I’m producing a [reality] show for TBS called Daisy Does America [with British comic Daisy Donovan].

Is Mix It Up, the interior decorating show you produced for WE: Women’s Entertainment network, returning in the fall?

No. It was fun to do and I learned a lot. [But] it’s hard, unless you do it all the time.

Split: The Apprentice’s Omarosa

There is one thing Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth admits to not succeeding at: her marriage. The former Apprentice star told Scoop she split with her husband of five years, Aaron Stallworth, at the beginning of the year but has kept it quiet. “I wasn’t as supportive to him as I could have been,” says Manigault-Stallworth, 31. “He’s home on the ranch [in Texas] and I’m in L.A. working on several projects.” The couple have yet to decide if they will file for divorce, but she says they are still best friends. In the interim, she’s filming Surreal Life 5 on VH1 and “just being Omarosa.”

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