LIFE AFTER THE SPLIT
and Richie Sambora put daughter Ava first and go their own ways
What's the best therapy for coping with a broken marriage? For Heather Locklear
—who filed for divorce on Feb. 3 from her husband of 11 years, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora—it's spending quality time with family and friends ... and shopping. On Feb. 11 the blonde actress and daughter Ava, 8, spent the afternoon with a group of pals at a mall in Calabasas, Calif. "She's so elegant," said a witness. "She just goes about her business with a confident look on her face." After leaving upscale boutique M. Fredric Kids with several shopping bags, the group had lunch at an Italian restaurant. Locklear, 44, kept jumping up to check on the kids, who were playing at a nearby fountain. "Everybody was checking Heather out, but she didn't seem to notice. She was more concerned with her daughter. It's obvious those two have a special relationship," said the observer. Ava then sat on her mom's lap to eat some ravioli and drew a picture of palm trees, which Locklear proudly showed to the rest of the table. That evening Locklear had friends over. "They sang karaoke all night," said a source close to Locklear. "You know somebody's spirits are on the rise when they're able to sing. She is doing really well." Another source of strength: "She's very close with her dad," adds the pal.
Meanwhile, Sambora, 46, who's currently touring with Bon Jovi, spent the weekend at a friend's house in L.A. but hosted a small get-together for Ava's friends on Sunday. Says Locklear's friend: "She's just putting one foot in front of the other. That's what Richie is doing too."
A relaxed Heather Locklear
spent the afternoon shopping, eating and hanging out with family and friends at the mall in Calabasas. "Heather was looking hot," said an observer. "And it was so obvious that everyone was looking at her."
On the Road Again
After this performance in Sunrise, Fla., Richie Sambora flew to L.A. for a brief weekend with daughter Ava but soon resumed touring with Bon Jovi.
Hockey's hero gets all caught up in a big betting flap
It's time for the Olympics, and Wayne Gretzky, leader of Team Canada's hockey effort, is in the headlines—for all the wrong reasons. Gretzky's wife, actress Janet Jones, allegedly placed $500,000 in bets through a gambling ring run, authorities say, by one of his assistants. Neither Gretzky nor Jones has been charged with any wrongdoing. Still, Gretzky, one of hockey's greatest players, has been pegged as a gambler: The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Gretzky has a casino credit line allowing him to bet up to $25,000 a hand. Asked at a press conference if he was a big Vegas gambler, the Great One shook his head and said, "No, no, no."
TOM & KATIE GET READY FOR BABY
Not long ago they were everywhere—kissing on red carpets or, in his case, bouncing on a couch. But if the public hasn't seen much of Tom Cruise
, 43, and fiancée Katie Holmes
, 27, lately, it's because of impending events. "They're living life, preparing for the baby and moving forward with the wedding," says a source close to the couple who spent several hours with them Feb. 13. "Katie's been staying home, and Tom's doing post-production work [on Mission: Impossible 3
]. They can't do too much, because she's seven or eight months pregnant." And rest assured, says the source, "They're still very much in love." Holmes has also been spending a lot of time studying Scientology at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. The lifestyle seems to agree with her, say observers. "She's glowing, and she's looking fine," her aunt Carol Zydorczyk tells PEOPLE. As for a published report claiming the two have split? "The story is 100 percent false," Cruise's reps said in a statement. "The couple is looking forward to a long and happy life together as a family."
Why is Adam Levine linked, via columnists' ink, with so many starlets?
He keeps popping up in gossip columns: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine serenaded Maria Sharapova at her 18th-birthday party! He and Paris Hilton
partied in Vegas! He and Kirsten Dunst
danced all night! And Lindsay Lohan
? He's allegedly in her diaries! As for talk that he and Jessica Simpson
are getting close now that she is newly single? Press reports had the two attending Kanye West
's pre-Grammy concert together Feb. 7. The truth? The two were there, but separately. Levine told E! News, "We're just friends," a sentiment echoed by Simpson's rep. But a source close to the band says, "She's been after him for a looong time." A Simpson pal denies it: "They're just friends. She's not looking to date anyone. He's more into her than she is into him—but he's into every girl." For the record, Levine's rep declines all comment on the singer's social life.
Donors Wanted: LOPEZ SEEKS HELP
is rallying fellow Hispanics to donate bone marrow to help Janet Ovalles, a single New York mom who has lymphoma, a blood cancer. Ovalles, 29, has the best chance of finding a match through other Hispanics, but because they account for just 7 percent of donors worldwide, her search has been difficult. "I am a young Hispanic woman, so is Janet," said Lopez, 36. "She [Lopez] hugged me and held my hand tight," says Ovalles. "I felt like she understood what it was all about." For more information, visit www.dkmsamericas.org.
It's Romance on Ice!
All that time on the ice can really heat things up: actress Kristy Swanson and Olympic medalist Lloyd Eisler, partners on Skating with Celebrities
, are now a pair off the rink: "They started dating after Lloyd officially separated from his wife [Marcia, in the fall] and they are very happy," says Swanson's rep. Eisler and Swanson, 36, will compete in the finale, airing March 2.... It could be the union of two great fortunes: Oil heir Brandon Davis, who broke up with The O.C.
star Mischa Barton
last July, has been spotted with Camilla Al Fayed, daughter of Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of London's Harrods department store.... Mena Suvari is dating professional break dancer Mike "Murda" Carrasco. Suvari, 27, and Carrasco, 23, met at last August's break dancing Battle of the Year....One Tree Hill
's Sophia Bush, 23, and actor Nick Stahl (Sin City
), 26, were way close at a Feb. 11 birthday party for a mutual friend, David Gallagher, at Las Vegas's Tao. "After the cake arrived, they started making out big-time," says one onlooker.
BRIDE, GROOM AND THE LAW
The bride wore a sexy Vera Wang gown, the groom, a sleek Armani tux. Held at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Miami's Biscayne Bay, the wedding—which the groom says cost nearly $1 million—was everything singer Scott Stapp, 32, and model Jaclyn Nesheiwat, 25, hoped it would be. Says Stapp: "I wanted to make it perfect for her." One thing he hadn't planned on was getting arrested on the way to their Hawaiian honeymoon. The couple took a morning flight to Los Angeles, during which "we were partying, kissing and probably making a scene," says Stapp. During their layover, the fun continued in American Airlines' Admirals Club lounge. According to Stapp, the gate agent asked him if he had been drinking and then refused to let him board. Stapp, whose solo album The Great Divide
went platinum, says he "got a little mad." Police arrived and arrested him on suspicion of public intoxication. His arraignment is March 8.
Sharon Stone, 47, is returning to the provocative role that made her famous in the upcoming Basic Instinct 2
. She has also written Something to Hold, a book about guardian angels, and talked to Scoop about both projects—and other things on her mind.
How is Basic Instinct 2
Obviously it's a popcorn movie, a thriller and a sexy movie, but, I think, also a movie that could provide some intriguing social commentary.
You're outspoken about politics. Does it make a difference?
I suspect it does good. Shimon Peres just called and invited me to come to Israel to speak on the subject of peace to a group of Israeli and Palestinian women. Peace begins personally, and in your own life.
You've been an AIDS activist for over 10 years. What has changed in that time?
It's a harder battle now, because there are more than twice as many people with AIDS. Some people take it less seriously even though it's much worse. What's needed are great leaders who will step in, whether it's Bill Clinton or Will Smith or a great doctor—people who have the possibility of leading a community.
Your book, Something to Hold, shows a spiritual side.
I just wrote what was touching to me. I do have this feeling of connection with the other side. It's a very personal book for me.
Are you enjoying being a mom [to Rowan, 5, and Laird, 9 months]?
I love being a mom, but I think it's very peculiar that every time my children are mentioned they are called adopted. Do you say "her biological child"? Are all of our children delineated and defined?
You sued a plastic surgeon for falsely claiming he had worked on you—and settled out of court when he agreed to perform free surgery for children with facial deformities. Was that your idea?
Yes, it was my idea. It might inspire others ... an entire country of plastic surgeons who would say, gee, I could do one or two of those a year.