Jennifer goes public with Marc Anthony in L.A.
They were hardly Out of Sight. Which is just the way Jennifer Lopez and salsa singer Marc Anthony must have wanted it when they descended on one of Beverly Hills' top see-and-be-seen restaurants on Feb. 20, joining producer-director Tony Scott and a companion at Mr. Chow. The two arrived for their dinner date at the same time, but to avoid being photographed together, Lopez and two bodyguards swept through the restaurant's front door while Anthony ducked into a back entrance. Lopez, 34, who ordered lobster, smiled and laughed throughout the two-hour dinner, granting Anthony, 35, a quick peck just before she left—without him. The public rendezvous came just days after the two were spotted spending quality time together—i.e., hugging and kissing—at her mansion in Miami Beach.
"This relationship with Marc is simpler for her after the P. Diddy and Ben Affleck whirlwind," says a source close to Lopez. "She's enjoying that. This goes back to a time in her life when things were much simpler for her, before she became who she is now. She thinks Marc is the real deal. Marc has always loved her. She wants to be loved right now."
The couple dated for a few months in 1998 after appearing together in a video for Anthony's song "No Me Conoces (You Don't Know Me)." Then, in January, around the time Bennifer broke up, the two began collaborating on a song for the soundtrack of Lopez's new film Shall We Dance? "The planets were aligned," says the source. "Being in a studio and making music together when there's someone playing a guitar and singing right at you is so much more private and romantic than making a movie.... That's when the kindle reignited." Now the question is, how long will it keep burning?
Britney's New Body Art
Britney Spears just got a new tattoo in a very surprising place: Sherman Oaks, Calif. The pop star opted to add a fifth tattoo to her collection at a little-known Ventura Blvd. parlor, Art to the Bone, just north of L.A., because, says a friend of Spears's tattoo artist Jesse Zinga, "It's a place out of the way." And so is the location of the new Japanese flower tattoo, which is "down there," according to the friend. It joins Spears's fairy tattoo on her lower back, daisy on her right toe, butterfly on her left foot and Chinese symbol for mystery on her lower stomach. After Zinga made his everlasting imprint on Spears, he had the moment commemorated with the photo at left.
Speaking of indelible imprints, Jason Alexander, who was Spears's husband for 55 hours earlier this year, can't seem to get Britney out of his mind. Alexander partied it up for Mardi Gras, first in Madisonville, La., and then in New Orleans, but Britney isn't far from his thoughts. Says a friend of his: "I know he really has deep feelings for her."
Hillary to a Tee
The latest fashion statement from couture darling Marc Jacobs is...Hillary Clinton? The designer, who regularly dresses Sofia Coppola, has superimposed Warhol-esque prints of the former First Lady's face on T-shirts in various colors to benefit her campaign committee. Although the senator hasn't officially announced she's running for anything, like, say, President, the special edition tees are selling fast at several Jacobs stores and on Clinton's Web site, www.friendsofhillary.com. Says Clinton of Jacobs: "He found a way to make politics fashionable again."
DENIAL OF THE WEEK
"I want to be home for my kids. They are my life. I'm not seeing anyone now"
—PAMELA ANDERSON, describing why she is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, despite rumors, not romantically involved with model and ex-boyfriend Marcus Schenkenberg
AN AVERAGE JOE GIVES LARISSA DAS BOOT
Why shouldn't you spy on the woman of your dreams from a submarine? Because down deep, there are risks. Just two rounds away from the chance, on March 1, to finally win the heart of Larissa Meek, Average Joe: Hawaii's Fredo LaPonza walked off the show in a huff on the Feb. 23 episode—after deciding that Meek just wasn't good enough for him. "I'm looking for someone a little more wholesome," sniffs LaPonza, 31, who took up the producers' offer to board a sub and spy on Meek through its periscope. He promptly caught the former beauty queen in a passionate clench with hunk Jim Frassetto. That very instant, LaPonza, whose fairy-tale dreams were dashed, knew "the dating game was over...I don't want to be with a person who shares themselves with everyone." LaPonza, a Cleveland contractor, left the set without even saying goodbye—although he did write Meek a farewell note. For her part, Meek, 25, admits, "I kind of wish I would have held back more. I guess," she adds, "I pulled a Bob Guiney."
Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias have been dating for about two years, but that didn't stop her from having dinner with Derek Jeter at Metro Kitchen in Miami's South Beach Feb. 17. And now she seems to be very friendly with Mark Wahlberg. The two partied together in Las Vegas casino hotels last weekend, holding hands at Light, the Bellagio nightclub, before repairing to the Real World suite at the Palms hotel, where they ordered a room-service dinner.
APPRENTICE KWAME MOTIVATES
Apparently The Apprentice contender Kwame Jackson has learned one thing from Donald Trump: the art of self-promotion. While the 29-year-old Wall Street investment manager has yet to hear—at least on air—the dreaded words "You're fired!" from the real estate mogul, he does have a backup plan: He's marketing himself as a motivational speaker. Jackson, one of nine contenders left at press time duking it out for the chance to be Trump's apprentice, is seeking speaking engagements. His proposed topics? They range from diversity to lessons from the boardroom to this surefire winner: "Working for Trump—What's It Like?"
It's a busy time for singer Diana Krall. Her new CD will be released next month and she's preparing to go on tour. Meanwhile, the singer, 39, performs a benefit concert for the leukemia and bone marrow transplant program at Vancouver General Hospital on March 5. Oh, and she married Elvis Costello three months ago.
Did you and Elvis get time for a honeymoon?
We did. We went to fabulous Venice and Paris. Venice at that time of year is so quiet and moody, and I just love gloomy weather. We walked everywhere. We went to museums with nobody there, and we went to fantastic restaurants and stayed at a fabulous place.
You sound happy.
I'm thankful that I've met the man of my dreams.
For your next album, you wrote songs with your husband. How did that go?
It was really fun. We wrote mostly at my home on Vancouver Island. I wrote music sometimes in one room, and he was writing lyrics at the same time. It was a very cathartic process for me. The songs were so personal.
Your voice appears to be edgier and more intimate on the album. Did you do something to get that sound?
Besides the Jack Daniel's and Marlboros? I think there's wear and tear on my voice from singing so much, and I wanted to bring that out. I didn't want to hide the fact that I was tired. That's the way I sounded that day.
This marks the fifth year you've performed a fund-raising concert for the Vancouver hospital where your mother, who passed away in 2002, was treated for multiple myeloma.
It is very close to my heart. I saw my mother experience the benefits of the program when she was in hospital. My mother was a children's librarian, and [with the money this raises] there'll be a library where patients can relax.
Has the marriage made you more recognizable to the general public?
I get better service at the shoe department at Barneys when I'm with him than when I'm by myself, okay? So I take him with me wherever I go.
ON THE BLOCK
THE DOC'S OUT
PRICE: $1.9 million
PLACE: Irving, Texas
SPECS: Though Dr. Phil McGraw maintains his Texas twang, the talk show host is selling his Lone Star estate. The 7,295-sq.-ft house comes complete with a two-story library, six bedrooms and a diving pool. While McGraw and family have relocated to L.A., where his show is broadcast, they "will always consider Texas home," says wife Robin.