WEEK IN REVIEW: The Colin-Britney Show

01/31/2003 at 01:00 PM EST

FARRELL'S FOLLIES: Gaelic good-time guy Colin Farrell and pop princess Britney Spears were hand-in-hand for photogs at Tuesday's Hollywood premiere of "The Recruit," in which he stars with Al Pacino. "She's just a mate," Farrell, 26, insisted to TV's "Entertainment Tonight." "Seriously, we just met a week ago, (we're) having a laugh." The pair apparently met when Spears, 21, visited the set of his movie "S.W.A.T." "They're friends," was all that Spears's publicist, Lisa Kasteler, would tell USA Today. Even so, by Friday, the BBC reported that Farrell had moved on to other conquests. There has been no confirmation from Farrell or any conquest.

NO-SHOW CROWE: "A Beautiful Mind" star Russell Crowe, named best actor last year at the Orange British Academy Film Awards -- otherwise known as the BAFTAs – won't be at this year's Feb. 23 ceremony. "I am flattered to hear of the invitation to attend BAFTA through the press," Crowe, 38, said in a statement. "Unfortunately I have a prior engagement, so to speak. Danielle and I have a lot of things to do at the moment and that is all we are focusing on -- what a bride needs and where she needs to be." Danielle is his longtime girlfriend (and now fiancée), singer Danielle Spencer, 32. The wedding is expected to take place sometime later this year.

BILLY'S BLUES: Christie Brinkley, 48, raised eyebrows when she was spotted taking photographs of her ex-husband Billy Joel's damaged blue Mercedes, after he sideswiped a tree last weekend while driving it in the Hamptons community of Sag Harbor. New York's Newsday reported that Brinkley fears for the well-being of her daughter with Joel, Alexa Ray, 17, and is documenting her ex-husband's "pattern" of car accidents in a maternal attempt to protect the teen girl. "I'm worried about Billy, but like any mother would be, I am alarmed and concerned about my child's safety," Brinkley said in a statement. Newsday could not reach Joel, 53, for a comment on his ex-wife's actions.

LOWE'S HIGH: Exiting "West Wing" star Rob Lowe is closing in on a new deal to star in and produce "Lyon's Den," an NBC show under consideration for next fall, reported Variety. The trade paper described "Lyon's Den" as an ensemble legal drama. The setting is an old, established legal firm, with Lowe, 38, playing an idealistic attorney out to establish himself from under the shadow of his powerful dad, a state senator. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced.

STEWART STEWS: Martha Stewart finally spoke out after seven months of silence about the investigation into her sale of ImClone stock, telling the New Yorker magazine that she finds the public reaction to her woes "puzzling." The domestic diva, 61, would not speak on the record about the sale of 4,000 ImClone shares, nor on her being investigated for possible insider trading and obstruction of justice. The topics she did touch upon, however, included the damage that has been done to her business and to her fortune. "That I have been turned into or vilified openly as something other than what I am has been confusing," she told the magazine.

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