, she survived her own legal drama: Two years ago her 1999 divorce papers leaked out, alleging sordid details about her sex life with ex Jack Ryan, whose 2004 Illinois Senate bid ended as a result. Now happily engaged to French chef Christophe Emé, the actress, 38, dishes about food, costar James Woods and her June wedding.
On coping with a public scandal: "It's a miserable thing to go through for everyone involved. Your main concern is to shield your child from it, keep your head down and get through it. It's not fun, [but] it blows over, and you move on. Now I'm in a great place."
On James Woods: "He has more energy than my son [Alex, 12] did at age 2. We joke that he's a windup toy: Just turn the crank a little and he's gone. He sort of doesn't stop. You just try to keep up!"
On trying not to be a bridezilla: "I'm completely anal, so I hired a wedding coordinator so I won't stress. The site [in the Loire Valley region of France] is breathtakingly beautiful. I [saw it] and started crying."
On being a foodie: "I love to cook. I like hearty, wintry foods. Braising short ribs is my favorite thing to do."
On cooking for her fiancé, with whom she co-owns L.A. eatery Ortolan: "When we started dating, I made homemade blackberry jam. He tasted a big spoon of it and goes, 'Hmm, did you put a lot of sugar in this?' And I was done. [I said] 'That's it! I'm never cooking for you again!' And I didn't cook for him for a year. Not a thing!"
Before Jeri Ryan's turn as a district attorney on the CBS hit