By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 17, 2003 12:00 PM
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CRUISE CONTROL: Tom Cruise won a $10 million default judgment in his case against a gay porn actor who claimed to a French magazine that he had an affair with Cruise. A Los Angeles judge entered the default judgment after Chad Slater — a former “erotic wrestler” also known as Kyle Bradford — admitted that his story was false, lawyer Ricardo Cestero told Reuters, adding that Cruise, 40, was “very, very pleased with getting this judgment.” Cestero added that Cruise “is very concerned and very protective about his personal reputation.”

BRITNEY’S BOYS: Mystery appears to be swirling around Britney Spears’s love life. The New York Post claimed that the pop princess, 21, was spotted at a post-American Music Awards party with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, also 21, and that it seemed just like old times — they were “kissing and holding hands.” But British tabloids insisted that she has been seen with Fred Durst, 31, the frontman for Limp Bizkit. Durst even wrote on his band’s Web site: “Anybody out there who has a serious problem with my feelings for Britney should just chill and worry about your own feelings for a minute. You can’t help what happens in life because everything happens for a reason. I believe that.”

PETE & PORN: Scotland Yard on Monday arrested legendary Who guitarist Pete Townshend on suspicion of making and possessing indecent images of children and of incitement to distribute indecent images of children, police said. “Mr. Townshend has been at the station this evening answering questions from police. He has not been charged,” the musician’s lawyer, John Cohen, told reporters. “He’s been bailed to come back perhaps at a future occasion if they want him to answer more questions.” The musician, 57, faced police questioning for more than an hour, according to reports.

‘WING’ CLIPPED: Despite some slipping ratings this season — especially when it ran opposite ABC’s “The Bachelor” — NBC closed a deal with Warner Bros. Television to hold on to “The West Wing” for another two years, with an option for a third. Warner Bros. was expected to collect between $5 million and $7 million per episode from NBC. Currently, the network pays Warners $2 million per episode, which reportedly was not sufficient to cover the studio’s production costs.

‘SOPRANO’ WAIT: After having waited 16 months between the third and fourth season, fans of “The Sopranos” have learned that season five won’t start until maybe a year from now. “We are planning on January,” “Sopranos” producer Brad Grey told reporters Monday. Referring to series star James Gandolfini, Grey said, “Jim’s going to go do a picture … It may push us a little bit, but we were planning on January. Maybe even a little earlier, but I’m thinking with Jim doing the picture, we may have to wait a little on that.”