October 30, 2006 12:00 PM

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MAKING PEACE

Truce! Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards call a ceasefire in their messy divorce

Ten months into what has been—until now—an especially nasty divorce, Charlie Sheen, 41, and Denise Richards have decided to play nice. “When it comes to the welfare of their children, any past drama is history,” says Sheen’s rep. A friend of Richards’s confirms “they’re working really hard to be friends and great parents.” Case in point? On Oct. 15 they hit a local fall festival with daughters Sam, 2, and Lola, 1. Also along: Sheen’s girlfriend of around four months, actress Brooke Mueller, 29. “Denise wants her to feel comfortable,” says the pal. “She put together a bag with toys for her and the girls along with a card telling her she’s glad [Brooke] makes their father so happy.” Meanwhile, Richards, 35, and Richie Sambora have been together for about six months and are “doing great.” It all makes for one happy, Hollywood-style extended family.

STRAY THOUGHTS

Frequent flier: On Oct. 13 newlywed Nicole Kidman, 39, appeared in Rome to promote her new movie Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. (While discussing Arbus, a photographer who had a troubled marriage, she mused, “I don’t think sexual faithfulness is the most important. Mental unfaithfulness is far more dangerous.”) Two days later she visited Kosovo in yet another role: United Nations goodwill ambassador. Not surprisingly, the jet-setter admitted balancing career and family is a struggle. “[When] I was divorced, I was able to explore different roads [for work],” she said. “Now that I am happily married [to country star Keith Urban], there are limits.”

CHANGE OF HEART

Less than a month after filing for divorce from Matt Lauer, his wife, Annette (who’s pregnant with their third child), withdrew her petition Oct. 11. A source tells Scoop that, after eight years together, the longtime Today show host and former model are “trying to work things out.”

DOUBLE TAKE

Red hair? Funky fashion? Looks like there’s a new twin in town!

BALLROOM BANTER

As romances go, this one was a slow-build tango, says Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba, 38, of her hush-hush, eight-month relationship with former So You Think You Can Dance contestant Artem Chigvintsev, 24. “We just wanted to keep things special and to ourselves,” she reveals. As for the 14-year age difference, the former Fly Girl says her classically trained Russian beau is teaching her: “He’s my ballroom champ!” … In the audience Oct. 17? Mario Lopez fans. Among them: George Lopez and his family (no relation), Cris Judd and longtime Mario supporter Eva Longoria…. Could a Dancing tour be in the works? Joseph Lawrence tells Scoop the show will likely hit the road by the end of the year. “I’ll be on the bus with my wife and baby,” he says. A rep for ABC said nothing has been announced (yet).

heart monitor

DATING?

Lindsay Lohan & James Franco

She’s the rebound queen! Lohan, fresh off her Sept. 21 breakup with Harry Morton, has been cozying up with Franco. On Oct. 10 they hit karaoke night at Guy’s (she sang “Sweet Child O’ Mine”) and, two nights later, steamed up the dance floor at West Hollywood’s Area. Franco’s rep says there’s “nothing going on.”

NEW GUY

Tyra Banks & Mystery Man

The talk show host’s love life has been low-key since her 2004 split from NBA star Chris Webber. So who was she smooching poolside at Miami’s Setai hotel Oct. 15? Her rep, who refused to release his name, maintains that the two are “just friends.”

WEDDING UPDATE

Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell

How do these two keep their relationship hot? “I can’t believe I’m saying this publicly,” says O’Connell. “We play a lot of badminton.” How much? “An entire weekend,” says his fiancée. The couple’s next love match will be their upcoming wedding, which, O’Connell says, will be “something very small, with just our siblings.”

SPLIT!

Nicky Hilton & Kevin Connolly

The hotel heiress’s Entourage has just decreased by one. Hilton and the HBO star—who have dated off and on for two years, starting not long after her ill-fated quickie marriage to Todd Meister—are no longer a couple, a rep for Hilton confirms to PEOPLE. Perhaps Paris will be willing to share her not-so-little black book?

BILL PARTIES

In Lost in Translation, Bill Murray played a lonely actor befriended by Scarlett Johansson while visiting Japan. As in Tokyo, so in St. Andrews: In Scotland to play in a procelebrity golf tournament, Murray, 56, hit Ma Bells bar where, the Sunday Telegraph reports, coed Lykke Stavnes invited him to a house party. So off Murray went, just another tagalong. “It’s 100 percent true,” a Ma Bells bartender tells Scoop. “He blended in pretty nicely!”

PEOPLE.COM POLL

SCOOP ASKED, YOU ANSWERED

DO YOU THINK JEFFREY CHEATED?

45,637 VOTES

PROJECT RUNWAY

ABSOLUTELY

76%

HE WOULD NEVER!

24%

WHO WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT?

45,728 VOTES

17% PATRICK DEMPSEY

29% ISIAH WASHINGTON

54% SANDRA OH

SHE COULD WHIP THEM BOTH

DOS & DON’TS

34,877 VOTES

NEVE CAMPBELL

LOVE IT 9%

LOSE IT 91%

34,896 VOTES

ROSARIO DAWSON

LOVE IT 25%

LOSE IT 75%

WHO’S THE BEST HARPER LEE?

45,646 VOTES

CAPOTE

INFAMOUS

CATHERINE KEENER

28%

SANDRA BULLOCK
72%

WHO SHOULD RETIRE FROM REALITY TV?

45,712 VOTES

HOGAN KNOWS BEST

HULK HOGAN
27%

BREAKING BONADUCE

DANNY BONADUCE

55%

BRING ON THIS SEASON

NEITHER

18%

NICOLE RICHIE & PARIS HILTON‘S’S RENEWED FRIENDSHIP IS …

24,651 VOTES

FOR SHOW 61%

FOR REAL 39%

VOTE ON NEXT WEEK’S QUESTIONS AT WWW.PEOPLE.COM/POLLS

Q + A

WHAT’S UP, DOC?

Life for Grey’s Anatomy’s Kate Walsh is all about hospital rounds. Oh, and drinks with a prince

Her character Addison Shepherd may have broken up with Dr. McDreamy, but Kate Walsh isn’t splitting from Seattle Grace any time soon. The Grey’s Anatomy star, 39, talked to Scoop about heating up with McSteamy, facing off against CSI and her first big splurge (hint: Patrick Dempsey is to blame).

So what’s the deal on the new guy, Eric Dane (a.k.a. Dr. McSteamy)?

He’s like a statue. Every time he pauses, he’s just gorgeous. And so nice and so talented.

Is this the end for Addison and Derek?

You’ll see some interesting things play out. There aren’t tidy beginnings and endings. It’s always messy, and—no pun intended—there’s always a gray area.

Your character wasn’t too popular with fans at first. Has that changed?

Even if fans want Derek to be with Meredith they sympathize with Addison. She’s just like every woman struggling to make a relationship work.

Were you stressed about Grey’s going up against CSI on Thursdays?

Yeah, I was nervous. CSI is a great show—I was in it! [She played a transsexual informant]. But they are two different animals. There’s room for both of us. You know, that’s why we have the TiVo.

Do anything fun on hiatus?

I mostly did press. We went all over Europe promoting Grey’s. It’s huge everywhere. [The cast] went to Monaco and got an invitation to dinner with the prince. My stylist said, “So I see on your itinerary, cocktails at the palace. Is that, like, the palace?” I was like, “Yeah, [it’s] not a club…. The palace!”

Has your life changed in the past year?

I [had one] big splurge, which I am driving now. It’s a 1985 Aston Martin convertible. When I moved [to L.A. seven years ago] I got a station wagon. Then I got a little car crazy. I have to say, Patrick Dempsey did influence me a lot in that area.

Any buyer’s remorse?

No! This was hand-built. It’s gorgeous—an elegant British muscle car. It makes doing errands much more palatable.

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