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William & Kate
Jolly good news, royal watchers! Some two months after Prince William and Kate Middleton parted ways, pals say the two have been enjoying clandestine meetings
From London clubs to Spanish beaches, Kate Middleton has been in remarkably high spirits since the April announcement that she’d split with Prince William, her beau of nearly five years. Was she relishing her swinging singledom—or did those smiles belie a delicious secret? Sources now say that the two are still spending quality time together, including a June 9 bash in his Dorset, England, army barracks, where they reportedly talked all night and kissed on the dance floor.
“It’s true that they have been seeing each other,” a source tells PEOPLE. Adds a pal: “They [never] loathed each other. It just wasn’t working at the time.” (Want a glimpse of the patched-up pair? Both are expected at the July 1 Concert for Diana, airing on NBC.)
While Palace reps won’t comment on whether Middleton—once pegged as the future Queen of England—is officially back in Will’s life, a source tells Scoop, “The spark is still there.”
YEP, HE’S THE FATHER
It’s “told you so” time for Melanie Brown. DNA tests confirmed June 21 what the Spice Girl, 32, has been saying for months: Eddie Murphy did father her 3-month-old daughter, Angel Iris Murphy Brown, the singer’s spokeswoman, Liza Anderson, tells PEOPLE. (Murphy’s rep declined to comment.) So will the Dreamgirls star, 46—who’s currently dating television producer Tracey Edmonds—become actively involved in Angel’s life? “It’s been days [since] the results came out,” one Brown friend told Scoop June 25, “and Eddie has not been in touch.” Still, the actor (who has seven other kids) previously pledged he would “do the right thing” if the test came back positive. “Eddie takes his responsibility as a father very seriously,” says a source. And friends were quick to cite his exemplary track record. “He’s an excellent dad,” says pal Holly Robinson Peete. “He loves his children.”
“I used to rock all my Cabbage Patch Kids to sleep every night,” says My Name is Earl‘s Jaime Pressly. “[Motherhood] is all I’ve ever wanted to do.” Mission accomplished. So how is she adapting to life with 7-week old Dezi James, her son with fiancé DJ Eric Cubiche? “I miss him whenever I leave the house.”
FASHION FAUX PAS
Lost in translation? Cameron Diaz found herself in political hot water June 22, when the actress visited Machu Picchu carrying a bag with the phrase “Serve the People” on it in Chinese. The words, a quote from the late Communist leader Mao Tse-tung, outraged many in Peru, where the Maoist Shining Path insurgency left 70,000 people dead in the ’80s and ’90s. The Shrek star, 34, quickly apologized, explaining, “The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China, and I did not realize the potentially hurtful nature of the slogan.”
OUT FOR DRINKS
Britney Spears headed to Petco June 21 and sprung for a $19.99 parakeet and a domed cage. (“She was hiding [from the paparazzi] in the dog biscuit section,” an onlooker tells Scoop. “Then she picked out the parakeet.”) But that wasn’t her most surprising purchase last week. That evening, the pop star—who completed a stint at Malibu’s Promises rehab clinic in March—headed to dinner at Benvenuto Caffé and, sources say, ordered two rum-based drinks. “She had a couple of cocktails,” the restaurant’s maître d’, Sergio Cobin, tells PEOPLE. “She was in a great mood.” (Another employee confirms she drank alcohol and “left a big tip.”) Is Spears—who recently dyed her hair brunette and, according to her choreographer, is slated to perform at the June 30 Cyndi Lauper concert in L.A.—drinking regularly? Her lawyer had no comment and her label rep did not return calls.
Reese & Jake
Undercover lovebirds Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal have called it quits after just a few short months. “Reese was the one who had to do it,” says a Witherspoon source. “She just got out of a divorce and was so concerned with her family, she didn’t have the time for him.” Reps for Witherspoon, 31, and Gyllenhaal, 26—costars in the upcoming Rendition—had no comment.
“There will be no wedding! Goldie [Hawn] and Kurt [Russell] have it made—and that’s what we strive for.”
JENNY MCCARTHY, denying persistent rumors that she’s engaged to boyfriend Jim Carrey at the June 21 opening of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium in New York City.
Hunting for Love
For her 45th birthday, Paula Abdul was anything but idle. On June 19, she and pals like Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis and Chris Sligh enjoyed a birthday-themed scavenger hunt around L.A. before heading to the West Hollywood eatery Ketchup for Kobe sliders and macaroni and cheese. Her best gift? Perhaps it was the presence of Ketchup co-owner JT Torregiani, 32, who stayed by Abdul’s side all evening. “They’ve been dating for about a month,” says one Torregiani friend. “She gushes to friends that he’s her boyfriend, and he likes her a lot.”
Turns the Big 4-0!
Work may be keeping them half a world apart, but Keith Urban wasn’t about to let Nicole Kidman‘s 40th birthday go unmarked. The singer, 39—currently on tour in the U.S.—hopped a June 19 flight Down Under, where his wife is filming Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia. Sparks were certainly flying the next night, as the two enjoyed a surprise fireworks show in Kidman’s honor. (“When he’s around,” Luhrmann tells Scoop, “she’s in great spirits.”) And the actress had no shortage of well wishers: Bowen’s Frangipani Florist was inundated with birthday orders from Urban, costar Hugh Jackman and ex-husband Tom Cruise. “For a small florist,” owner Julie Gardiner tells Scoop, “it was overwhelming.”
WHO WILL HOST?
Come on down! Contestants are lining up to replace Bob Barker on The Price is Right. With Rosie O’Donnell out of the race, Ian Ziering, Drew Carey and Mario Lopez are considered front-runners. A CBS rep had “no comment.”
The Look of Love
It’s been 11 years since his own single days. Now ex soap hunk Mark Consuelos plays matchmaker on Age of Love
Q & A
Mr. Mom has a new day job! Mark Consuelos—father of three and husband to Kelly Ripa—is now hosting NBC’s Age of Love, a dating show that pits women in their 40s against a group of twentysomethings. The actor, 36, opens up to PEOPLE’s Amy Elisa Keith.
Were you eager to play referee in a dating-show catfight?
It’s the “Cougars” versus the “Kittens,” and it’s on! But I don’t envy [the show’s star, tennis ace Mark Philippoussis]. I never had that many women interested in me.
Please. I’m sure you were a hot commodity.
My bachelor days were way more boring than this guy’s. I did fine, but that time was short. I moved to New York for All My Children and was married within a year. It was so quick!
So, back when you were a bachelor, did you favor older or younger women?
Kelly is technically six months older than me, so maybe I do have an affinity for older women. There is something about her age advantage that is sexy. Older women are so comfortable in their skin.
Do any of the women remind you of someone you once dated?
I don’t even remember my life without Kelly!
Would you ever let your daughter Lola date an older boy?
No. I know what he’d be thinking. I’ll probably make all the mistakes that overprotective fathers make. She’s only 6. God forbid she has an admirer at this age!