07/17/2001 AT 11:00 AM EDT
After months of denials, Tom Cruise's spokeswoman has confirmed that the superstar is seeing Madrid-born actress ("All the Pretty Horses") Penelope Cruz, 28. The two met while filming director Cameron Crowe's feature "Vanilla Sky," which is set to be released this Christmas. (Crowe and Cruise formerly teamed for 1996's successful "Jerry Maguire.") Cruise's publicist, Pat Kingsley, told TV's "Entertainment Tonight" that Tom and Penelope have "had a few dates" since she showed up at Cruise's 39th birthday party in L.A. on July 6. (At the party, Cruise sported a new buzzcut.) These dates represent the first public confirmation that Cruise has stepped out since he filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years, Nicole Kidman, in February. (Kidman was his second wife.) Late last week, Kidman was reported to be at the same romantic Fiji island resort as "Gladiator" hunk Russell Crowe (no relation to Cameron). Ironically, on Tuesday morning the Australian Associated Press reported that this past Sunday Cruise showed up at the same resort -- the exclusive Wakaya Club --although Kidman and Crowe were reportedly gone. Cruise was said to be with "an unidentified female companion."