Scoop

updated 05/16/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/16/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

PALACE BOMBSHELL

Prince Albert's
SECRET BABY
WHO'S YOUR DADDY? A FORMER FLIGHT ATTENDANT CLAIMS MONACO'S NEW LEADER FATHERED HER SON

Could the principality of Monaco have a young prince waiting in the wings? According to Nicole Coste—a 33-year-old who says she had a six-year affair with Prince Albert—her 21-month-old son Alexandre is the result of that relationship. "Albert has a wonderful son, and he should acknowledge him," Coste told the German magazine Bunte. "We live in his apartment, and he pays support."

A spokesperson for the Monaco palace told People, "We have no comment," and Albert's lawyer's office says, "He has nothing to declare." Coste, who says she met Albert, 47, on a 1997 light-Albert allegedly cut off romantic relations in '03 but continued to support and see mother and child-says a paternity test proved Albert was the father, though she hasn't kept any proof of the test. Nevertheless, pictures of Albert with Alexandre set tongues wagging. Spending weekends at a time together, "I fell in love I with him," said Coste. "I found him to be nice, a little shy, yet charismatic."

She's not the first to say this. In 1992 Californian Tamara Rotolo, now 44, filed a paternity suit, alleging that her now 13-year-old daughter Jazmin was fathered by Albert (a court dismissed the case in 1993, ruling lack of jurisdiction). While friends of Albert's admit it's "no secret he has had affairs," those close to the Prince remain skeptical-especially in the wake of Prince Rainier's April 6 death. "When they have printed his father's will and [read] he's worth millions, it doesn't surprise me that all of a sudden people come forward," says one Albert pal. Still, Coste says she isn't out for the money. "I only want him to understand that he has a child and responsibility," she said. "I want Alexandre to grow up normally with a father."

WILL HISTORY REPEAT?
Out-of-wedlock children are nothing new in the history of Monaco. Born in 1898, Princess Charlotte—Prince Albert's grandmother—(with her son Prince Rainier)—was the acknowledged love child of a young laundress and Prince Louis II. Louis later adopted Charlotte and recognized her as his rightful heir. But Monaco royals watcher Isabelle Rivere doubts that Albert will officially recognize little Alexandre. "For the moment" she says, "this child has absolutely no claim."

The B World
Jennifer Beals
A rep for Jennifer Beals confirms exclusively to People that the 41-year-old actress is expecting her first child in November. The father is her husband of seven years, Canadian entrepreneur Ken Dixon. It's something of a role reversal. On Showtime's The L Word, Beals portrays a lesbian whose partner, played by Laurel Holloman (below), is pregnant.

+ TERI'S DANCE PARTNER
What is Teri Hatcher looking for in a man? "Honesty and strength and intelligence," the Desperate Housewives star, 40, told an audience at the Tribeca Film Festival last week. She neglected to mention fancy footwork, which enabled fashion photographer Jim Macari, 31, to dance the night away (till 3 a.m.) with her on April 29 at Cain, a Manhattan club. A source says the two have been dating for about a month.

All My (10) Husbands
All My Children's Erica Kane weds her 10th husband (counting remarriages) on May 23, which is something of a milestone even for a daytime drama. And what will it take to make this marriage work? "A lot of prayer," says Susan Lucci, who has played Kane for 35 years. The TV bride wore white—again—while saying "I Do" to Jack Montgomery, an AMC character who endured 18 years of unrequited love for Kane.

They Wed Her Too
How to explain so many marriages in one soap opera queen's life? "Erica was—for most of her life—a wounded woman," says Lucci of her All My Children character Erica Kane. Part of the problem: her laundry list of ex-husbands.
1. Jeff Martin
2. Phil Brent
3. Tom Cudahay
4. Adam Chandler
5. Travis Montgomery
6. Travis Montgomery
7. Adam Chandler
8. Dimitri Marick
9. Dimitri Marick

+ JENNIFER'S JEWELS
A curvier Jennifer Garner—whose shape sparked talk of a possible pregnancy—shopped her heart out at Elyse Walker boutique in Pacific Palisades May 1 during a Self magazine charity event. Her purchases should go well with the new pieces of jewelry she was sporting: an eternity band of diamonds from fiance Ben Affleck and a tulip pendant that she designed to benefit the event (the charm goes on sale this month, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards the Women's Cancer Research Institute of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center). "I love tulips—they're my favorite flower," says Garner. "My mother grew a lot of them." As for those pregnancy rumors, reps for Garner and Affleck couldn't be reached for comment.

Nick & Jess: Apart Again
After performing for U.S. troops abroad, Jessica Simpson and hubby Nick Lachey entertained themselves—in separate countries. Simpson had a girls' weekend in Vegas, attending the Hard Rock's l0th-anniversary events before her entourage joined Fred Durst at the Body English club, where Simpson danced, mainly alone. Lachey, meanwhile, club-hopped in Stockholm, where he was recording songs for his upcoming solo album.

POP QUIZ

Felicity Huffman
Taking a break from Desperate Housewives, Felicity Huffman attended the Tribeca Film Festival recently to promote her role in the independent movie Transamerica. Huffman, 42, plays a transsexual woman in the film, produced by her husband, Bill Macy. She spoke with Scoop at the premiere.

There's a scene where you are naked in the bathtub. What were you thinking while filming that?

I hope I don't look fat.

How do you play a man about to become a woman?

I did a lot of research. I went to transgender conventions, studied with transgendered women, studied with women who teach men how to become women. I read every biography I could get my hands on. I worked with an acting coach and my husband. The final key was my voice.

You trained your voice to be four octaves lower than usual, right?

Women's chest cavities aren't as big as guys', so they just can't get the resonance. I had to find a way to artificially put it down there.

Have your Housewives costars seen the film yet?

No, but they're excited about it. Teri [Hatcher] came into my trailer and was like, 'Oh my God, the film festival, I'm gonna be there!' And Marcia [Cross] wanted to have a screening at my house, a popcorn party.

So what has ft been like for the Housewives cast since the Vanity Fair cover shoot, which fueled rumors you don't get along?

It made our ratings go up. It was fine.

The cover was hot.

Yeah! A little airbrushing there! But it was fine.

You're portrayed as the most levelheaded of the group. How do you do that?

That has absolutely nothing to do with me. It's all made up. It just depends on who they're pointing their finger at. Next week it might be me.

It seems like you're enjoying the film festival.

It doesn't get any cooler than this. Hip, smart downtown people. Look, I'm wearing black, I'm trying to fit in!

ON THE BLOCK

VILLA BOCELLI

PRICE: $18.75 million
PLACE: Tuscany, Italy
Opera singer Andrea Bocelli is selling a beachside estate filled with touches from the surrounding area. Built in the 1950s by the Principessa di Liegi, the two-acre property features a garden of native Mediterranean flowers and trees and a 16-bedroom villa with Italian stone and marble, 15 bathrooms, a library, a guest house and two wine cellars.

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