July 25, 2005 06:00 AM

On a break from filming the crime thriller The Departed, Leonardo DiCaprio has been catching up on his clubbing in Hollywood. The actor recently hit promoter Michael Sutton’s new private after-hours spot, Xenii (pronounced ex-EE-knee), on La Brea Avenue. After arriving at 3 a.m., DiCaprio hung out at the members-only venue with friends including Nicky Hilton and her beau, Entourage star Kevin Connolly.

The next night, DiCaprio – with Hilton and Connelly again – turned up at Shelter, where he was treated to an impromptu performance by rapper Ja Rule. The actor grooved along as the hip-hopper performed some of his hits, including “I’m Real” and “Livin’ It Up.” Also on hand: Lindsay Lohan, Ryan Seacrest, Mischa Barton’s ex, Brandon Davis, and That ’70s Show’s Danny Masterson.

Happily Ever After
Jermaine Dupri is normally tight-lipped about his relationship with Janet Jackson, but the R&B producer talked to PEOPLE about his girlfriend of three years at the opening of Cafe Dupri, his new Atlanta restaurant featuring low-carb entrees with a Southern flair. “Things are going great with Janet and me,” he said. What about rumors that the two are engaged – or already married? Not true, says Dupri: If it happens, he’ll tell the world. “It’s a beautiful thing. That’s like hiding a baby. You can’t hide that type of stuff.”

So what’s stopping them? Timing. “We are trying to get our records right first,” he says. Dupri just released his compilation album Jermaine Dupri Presents: Young, Fly & Flashy, Vol. 1 and Jackson is in the studio recording the follow-up to 2004’s Damita Jo. “I am trying to make sure that she returns and her career soars the way it is supposed to and we live happily ever after.”

Caught in the Act
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, dining with friends at Asia de Cuba in the Mondrian Hotel in L.A. The couple feasted on nouveau Asian-Latino cusine and drank mojitos. Meanwhile, Wilmer Valderrama, seated nearby, sent shots over to the Newlyweds’ table.

Nicole Kidman, watching the Cirque Eloize show Rain in New York City. The actress enjoyed the Montreal-based circus troupe’s performance so much that she went “backstage to congratulate the cast,” says a source. And she told a friend: The following night, pal Naomi Watts turned up to check it out.

• By CHRIS GARDNER, ISOUL HARRIS and KC BAKER

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