Friday

Caught in the Act!

08/08/2008 at 06:00 AM EDT

Caught in the Act!
Patrick Dempsey
Splash News Online
Patrick Dempsey, greeting Star Jones with a hug while lunching at Beverly Hills hot spot Mr. Chow. (McDreamy was waiting for lunch guests to arrive – and Jones happened to be sitting at a neighboring table.) During their "moment," the two chatted about Dempsey's children and the talk-show host's recent vacation. Jones then returned to her table, and Dempsey's two male friends arrived. On the menu for the Grey's Anatomy star: chicken satay, lettuce wraps and dumplings.

Victoria and David Beckham, double-dating with fellow Brit Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana at Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica. When they arrived, though, the friends' table wasn't exactly ready. "They had to wait . . . for a good 10 minutes," a fellow diner tells us. "But it didn't seem to bother them." And there was no way the high-profile group was going unnoticed: A big bodyguard shielded them as they waited in front of the bathroom until it was time to sit.

Penélope Cruz, sporting a sparkler on her left index finger inside a dinner at New York's Hotel Plaza Athénée following the Manhattan premiere of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. While Cruz's costar (and real-life beau) Javier Bardem was at the event, the two kept their distance, even sitting at different tables temporarily. Later in the night, Bardem joined Cruz at her table, putting his arm around her and even kissing her at one point.

Jessica Simpson, making a pit stop in Chicago for lunch before heading to the Indiana State Fair for a scheduled performance. The newly minted country singer ate at the Windy City's Rockit Bar & Grill with two pals – and spent a good deal of time e-mailing on her BlackBerry. While in Chicago, the singer checked into The James, a boutique hotel, where she, her pooch Daisy and an assistant checked into the swanky penthouse. The ladies treated themselves to luxe room service.

Chris Noth, flipping through the New York Post on the W subway train. Mr. Big sipped Starbucks coffee – and was glued to gossip column Page Six.

• By JENNIFER GARCIA, CARLOS GREER, JESSICA GOLD HARALSON, JEFFREY SLONIM and MICHELLE TAN



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