March 03, 1997 12:00 PM

Although grunge-rocker Courtney Love and Primal Fear’s Oscar-nominated actor Edward Norton deny the persistent rumor that they are romantically involved (PEOPLE, Feb. 24), it turns out to be quite true. The couple started quietly seeing each other last year when they costarred in The People vs. Larry Flynt. But unlike many Hollywood onset love affairs, which fizzle before the movie comes out, this torch is still burning. According to a source who knows both, Love and Norton have been “very, very discreet,” trying to keep their relationship secret. I can attest to their skill at subterfuge. When I met them last month at the Beverly Hills home of Hollywood heavy-hitter Mike Medavoy, whose company Phoenix Pictures produced Flynt, Love and Norton stayed so far apart you would have thought they were strangers. I know now they’re not….

In other Flynt news, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s wife, Donna Hanover, who played evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton in the movie, was honored for her charitable work in Manhattan on Feb. 11, along with Gregory Peck, his wife, Veronique, Joan Rivers and her fiancé, businessman Orin Lehman, at the lavish Reel Ball. Hanover, an actress and television journalist who recently dropped her married name, recalled from the podium how she once asked Rivers to teach her how to tell a joke. Then she told one. “I’m such a terrible cook,” said Hanover, “that the cockroaches in my kitchen have gone on strike.” When nobody laughed, Rivers whispered to me, “It’s all in the delivery.”…

President Clinton’s spring calendar is filling up fast, but he’d probably make time to watch his favorite pop group, the soon-to-be reunited Fleetwood Mac, on MTV. Returning to the lineup are Rumours-era band members (pictured, clockwise, at left) Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, who are now in discussions with MTV to do a TV special, possibly an Unplugged, before embarking on a summer tour. The gig would be this group’s first public appearance since Clinton’s inauguration in 1993….

Los Angeles attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who successfully prosecuted Charles Manson in the early ’70s, has been an outspoken critic of the prosecution’s handling of O.J. Simpson’s criminal trial. Now I hear that Bugliosi and Simpson defense attorney Johnnie Cochran have been offered $500,000 apiece to square off against each other in a mock, made-for-TV Simpson trial. My source tells me Bugliosi has already said yes. No word yet from Cochran….

Tommy, The Who’s classic rock opera, which was first performed by the band in 1969, has already been made into a movie and a hit Broadway musical. But is it ready to be put on ice? Believe it or not, Pete Townshend recently dismissed what was a serious proposal to revamp Tommy as a skating extravaganza. No, I don’t think it would have worked either. I mean, “Tommy, can you lutz me?” just doesn’t sound right.

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