Updated August 14, 2001 01:00 PM
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Penelope Cruz stepped out Monday night with one of Hollywood’s most wanted accessories: Tom Cruise. The couple walked down the red carpet and smiled for the cameras at the L.A. premiere of Cruz’ new movie, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” And in case you’re wondering: they’re definitely an item, the Associated Press reported. That afternoon, Cruz, 27, confirmed she was seeing Cruise during a taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and explained how she dealt with the public’s interest in the budding romance. “I think you manage to find ways to live your life,” Cruz said. “With this, I don’t have a problem saying this is true. I don’t want to get into details because it’s something I want to protect and I am very happy about.” Last week, Cruise, 39, went stag to the premiere of “The Others,” which stars his ex-wife, Nicole Kidman. He was one of the film’s executive producers. Cruise and Cruz started dating after working together on “Vanilla Sky,” Cameron Crowe’s romantic thriller which opens in December.