11/07/2007 AT 03:40 PM EST
Eleven weeks ago Owen Wilson
's friends were simply praying for him to pull through after his suicide attempt. But in recent weeks, Wilson, who turns 39 on Nov. 18, has cautiously reemerged, hitting parties on both coasts and hanging out with old pals, PEOPLE reports in its latest cover story, on newsstands Friday.
He's also been keeping company with an array of beautiful young women, including ex-girlfriend Carolina Cerisola and a new friend: Jessica Simpson
– who joined him for drinks at the Rose Bar of New York City's Gramercy Park Hotel on Nov. 3, where they were seen whispering flirtatiously.
But how is Wilson confronting the problems that could have cost him his life? By sticking close to a very protective group of friends since he was hospitalized
, as well as brothers Luke, 36, and Andrew, 43, and his parents, Laura, 68, a photographer, and Robert, 66, a retired PBS station manager, who rushed to his side after the incident.
In terms of his career, despite dropping out of a cameo role in buddy Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder
(he was replaced by Matthew McConaughey
), Wilson's rep confirms that two upcoming films – including a comedy with Jennifer Aniston
– are "options" at this point, but won't comment further on his professional prospects.
For more on Wilson, his date with Jessica Simpson and his Halloween costume, pick up this week's PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday