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October 26, 2007 12:40 PM

They may appear in a steamy music video for her single “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone,” but don’t get the wrong idea: Ciara and 50 cent are, as she puts it, “good friends, absolutely.”

“He’s a really great friend, and great friends think of really great [birthday presents],” Ciara told PEOPLE at her 22nd birthday party at Manhattan’s Nikki Midtown on Thursday night, though she wouldn’t reveal what he gave her. “For some reason, with this friend, everybody turns everything into something else!”

And while she’s the first to admit that 50 has “a very, very nice body,” she laughs at all the rumors she’s heard about her so-called romance. “They said we have a ranch in Atlanta. I just died laughing,” she said. “They said I cursed him out (for having a Ciara lookalike on his album cover) and that he cried on my shoulder (over the Kanye West rivalry). It’s amazing to hear the things people make up. It’s funny.”

No doubt that dating as a celebrity can be tough – “You want to go out like normal people but you can’t. If you do, automatically you’re together or messing around,” Ciara confesses. But, she adds, she knows what she wants in a man.

“Confidence is really important to me, and someone that has goals” she said, adding that she doesn’t have to end up with someone famous, but she prefers “to date someone who understands what I do. Just be understanding of this lifestyle and me working a lot. That’s all that matters!”

As for Ciara’s goals, she’s heading to Europe for a few days to tour with pal Rihanna.

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