A Tale Of Two Pretties
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attend a movie premiere—alone again, naturally

Focus

While most people would be more than happy to show off Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston as their dates, it seems Pitt and Aniston don't see things that way. At the Manhattan premiere of Meet Joe Black on Nov. 2, the reportedly romancing stars arrived in separate limos. Each entered the Ziegfeld Theater surrounded by a separate mini-entourage. And when it came time to attend the post-premiere party at the Metropolitan Club a few blocks away, Pitt, 34, and Aniston, 29, traveled alone once more. If not for some discreet hand-holding and hugging at the party, followed by a little kiss, you'd think they barely knew each other. "They're friends. They're not dating. They're just friends," says a Pitt representative. Indeed, both have declined to declare a romance, with Pitt saying "I have no idea what to tell you" when asked by Vanity Fair magazine about his relationship to the Friends star. One person attending the post-premiere party begged to differ, declaring, "They were obviously a couple," after watching the stars cuddle and coo.

Assuming the romance is real, what's with the cold-shoulder treatment at the premiere? Some photographers believe it's a plot to keep lucrative pictures of the two from hitting the market. "If we get a picture of them together, it sells a lot," says paparazzo Mario Magnani, who indeed failed to get his shot. The couple's cat-and-mouse game "is like putting a bounty out," says New York Daily News photographer Richard Corkery, who, like many of his tribe, argues that the actors would make their lives easier if they simply smiled for the cameras and moved on. "A picture of them together doesn't take away from his movie or his stardom. It's better just to pose together and look happy. Everybody knows they're going together. They should stop this baloney. It's very immature for them to play mind games like that."

Time for Family Aid?
Rocker Sir Bob Geldof became the first rock and roll saint when he organized Live Aid in 1985. If only his personal life ran as smoothly. Geldof has spent recent years involved in a love triangle, a bitter custody dispute, I one suicide and another attempted suicide. Last month it was revealed that early in the summer, Geldof, 45 and now a London deejay, had won primary custody in London of his three daughters (Fifi Trixibelle, 15, Peaches, 9, and Pixie, 8) by his exwife, TV personality Paula Yates, who dumped him for INXS singer Michael Hutchence four years ago. Yates has said that Hutchence's suicide in Australia last year might have been prevented if Geldof hadn't refused to allow her to take their two younger girls (along with Yates and Hutchence's own daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, now 2) to see Hutchence; this summer, after the custody ruling, Yates reportedly also tried to take her own life. "If my life's a soap opera," Geldof said recently, "I just stumble along from one episode to the next."

Truth & Consequences
When Britain's Express on Sunday newspaper alleged on Oct. 5, 1997 that Tom Cruise and his wife, Nicole Kidman, might be closet gays in a sham marriage, the actor got angry. Then he got litigious. Last week he got even: A British judge, agreeing the couple had been libeled, awarded them an estimated $330,000 (Cruise said he will give the money to charity) plus $250,000 in lawyers' fees. "It is a last recourse against those who have printed vicious lies about me and my family," Cruise said outside a London courthouse after the ruling. An embarrassed Express admitted that the story was "entirely false" and apologized. "These kinds of allegations are routine for British tabloid newspapers," says former tabloid editor Roy Greenslade: "For years they got away with it." They may now think twice.

Fall Guys
Must every member of the cinema's villains, thieves and scoundrels union wear a burnoose—even when terrorizing the streets of Brooklyn? No, says the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, bashing the choice of bad guys in the action flick The Siege. Spokesman Hussein Ibish says the film—wherein martial law is declared in Brooklyn because of rampant Arab terrorism—demonizes Arabs living in the United States. His organization, which claims 30,000 members, wants Hollywood to stop using his people as stock villains, replacements for the Russian spies, German soldiers and American Indians of movie eras gone by. Director Ed Zwick says The Siege "goes to extraordinary lengths to distinguish between the vast majority of Arab-Americans and the few fanatics." Besides, he adds, "not to tell the truth in the name of political correctness or Islamic correctness is to discourage my freedoms as an artist."

Midnight Train to Provo
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) may soon be known as the Fourth Pip; two songs he wrote lyrics for appear on Many Different Roads, Gladys Knight's new album. "It's quite a thrill, I'll tell you," says Hatch, whose admiration for Princess Diana and Mother Teresa inspired the title tune. Knight, a Mormon convert, heard it through the grapevine and "fell in love with the song," says fellow Mormon Hatch. But don't expect him on backup vocals. "I don't have much of a singing voice."

ON THE BLOCK

HEFNER'S FIRST HUTCH
Purchased in 1959, Hugh Hefner's four-story French-style mansion in Chicago was toe Playboy magnate's bunker for toe Swinging '60s. Relocated to L.A. by toe mid-'70s, Hefner donated toe house in '89 to the Art Institute of Chicago, where toe sight of his first nude during an art class years earlier inspired his hedonistic empire. The mansion was used as a dorm and later split back into its two original properties, one of which is being sold by its current owners for $3.9 million. "You really didn't know if it was daytime or nighttime," Hefner says of his former libertine lair, which includes four bedrooms, five fireplaces, an elevator, antique chandeliers (one rumored to have been Czar Nicholas's), a roof terrace and a single-lane bowling alley.

And the Stars Jumped over the Moon
Enough already with authorial angst; sometimes writing can be child's play. "I wrote the entire book in 10 minutes—it literally popped out," says Jamie Lee Curtis, whose children's book Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day has landed on several tomes-for-tots bestseller lists. She joins a posse of celebs, including Carly Simon, Michael Bolton, Jimmy Buffett and playwright Wendy Wasserstein, in writing for generation Z. Simon has written several kids' books based on bedtime stories she told her children every night. Curtis, who has two children, says her work makes her feel grown-up. "It's the only time in my work that I've felt like I'm responsible for my own thoughts and ideas—I'm not just interpreting someone else's," she says. So what do kids think? We asked Rugrats' Angelica Pickles for some critical thoughts.

Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day
by Jamie Lee Curtis

This book is really great because, first of all, it's about a little girl, which is ALWAYS a good idea. And also because it talks about how she feels, which is very important. Like sometimes she feels silly, then she feels excited, then she feels angry...and grumpy...and mean...and...Hey! Wait a minute! Is somebody tryin' to tell me something?!

Trouble Dolls
by Jimmy Buffett

This book is about a really brave little girl who saves her daddy's life when he gets lost, and there's lots of 'venture and some scary stuff, but it all gets okay in the end, and everybody gets hugs. But the brave little girl doesn't get any presents, not even a doll, but she does get to be with her daddy again, which I guess is maybe as good as getting a doll.

Midnight Farm
by Carly Simon

Now this book I didn't really get because, even though there's a little girl in the story, she's not the star or anything! There's lots of dancing animals and vegetables, which I don't think there really are cuz I never saw them, 'cept I don't know for sure because I never saw Santa either, and he brings me lots of presents. Anyway, if you like to see a bunch of flowers and cows singing and dancing, you'll probably like this book, even if it's stuff you never saw in real life.

The Secret of the Lost Kingdom
by Michael Bolton

This book is all about kingdoms and horses and battles and princesses, even though the princess doesn't get to do very much except stand around and look pretty, which is okay sometimes—after all, it's how I spend most of my days!

Pamela's First Musical
by Wendy Wasserstein

This is the story of a little girl who goes to a big show on some street called Broadway in New York, America, and there's lots of music and dancers and singing, and then everybody jumps to their feet and claps their hands hurt.

  • Contributors:
  • Larry Sutton,
  • Anna Lisa Raya,
  • Gerald Burstyn,
  • Kelly Carter,
  • Susan Christian Goulding,
  • Champ Clark,
  • Cathy Free,
  • Laura Sanderson Healy,
  • Barbara Sandler,
  • Natasha Stoynoff,
  • Ellen Tumposky,
  • Ting Yu.