Change Partners 

A summary of what's been in the tabloids.
July 27 2001 3:00 AM

Change Partners 

Did Bill Clinton split up Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher? And other Hollywood entanglements. 

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Life—and love—in Tabloidland can get so complicated that every once in a while Keeping Tabs thinks she needs a diagram to stay on top of things. Take, for instance, right now: KT's head is positively spinning from trying to follow all the love triangles, multiple partners, and revolving partners in play. "You need a scorecard to keep track of who's dating who in Hollywood these days," the Globe's Charlene Tilton complained. "It hasn't been this crazy since Liz Taylor and Richard Burton."

You said it, Charlene! The Enquirer reports, for example, that actor John Cusack's "new sweetheart" is none other than Shoshanna Lonstein, whose famous exes include Jerry Seinfeld and Ben Affleck. Cusack's longstanding romance with actress Neve Campbell is said to be over, with Campbell now romancing her latest co-star, actor Billy Burke. Meanwhile, the Globe maintains that Michael Jackson is not pleased that his ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, who just broke it off with fiancé John Oszjaca, has taken up with actor Nicolas Cage. When he heard that Presley and Cage were supposedly talking marriage, Jackson reportedly "went nuts," says a source. (What did he do, befriend a monkey and refuse to go out in public without a surgical mask?) Jackson has reportedly begged his wife to remarry him instead and "bombarded" her with "phone calls and gifts in an all-out effort to win her back." The Globe also reports that Jack Nicholson was similarly so filled with jealousy at seeing his old flame Lara Flynn Boyle in the arms of a new man that he "made a crafty move that sent her rushing back into the old dude's arms; HE PROPOSED!!" Kevin Costner, meanwhile, is vigorously denying rumors that he ever was involved with the wife of baseball star Cal Ripken Jr. ("The only thing Cal and Kevin have in common is that Cal is a baseball player and Kevin portrayed one in Bull Durham," says a Star "insider"). And former WWF wrestler Chyna gives the Star an exclusive interview ("Chyna: My Love Triangle") about her devastation upon learning that her longtime love, WWF wrestler Triple H, was apparently having an affair with their mutual boss's daughter. Whew! You still with us?

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One of the most active players on the love triangle scene is former President Bill Clinton. Last week's Globe had Clinton coming between rocker Melissa Etheridge and her ex-partner, Julie Cypher. The president is said to have "flipped" for Cypher at a 1992 fund-raiser. "He just ate her up with his eyes and was in charisma overdrive. He practically undressed her with his eyes," says a source. The fact that Cypher was in a relationship with Etheridge was apparently no biggie for Clinton. "If Bill is attracted to a woman, he can't believe she doesn't find him attractive, lesbian or not!" explains a source. "He just figured that one day there'd be the opportunity for him and Julie to get together." Clinton supposedly continued his flirtation via phone and e-mail, "little notes and jokey gifts and flowers," which infuriated Etheridge and ultimately contributed to the couple's split.

This week's Enquirer has Clinton at it once again, this time triangulating opposite his own wife. He was supposedly spotted "fondling a sexy blonde model at a New York gala and taking off for a secret rendezvous with her." The Enquirer has an eyewitness who somehow manages to give an incredibly detailed, 19-paragraph account of exactly what transpired between the two. A sample:

"The blonde smiled coyly, locked eyes with him and said, 'I've been looking for you too.' With that, Bill seductively rubbed both hands up and down her slender arms.

"The woman giggled and batted her eyes.

"Then Bill said, 'We're still on for tonight, right? You and me over at the Peninsula hotel?'

"The woman nodded her head and purred, 'Ooohhhh, yeah.

"And let me tell you something, I can't wait!' "

Hillary Clinton, however, is said to have had a "network of spies" at the event who "spilled all the juicy details" to her. Sen. Clinton supposedly called her husband—and we quote—an "#@%**#" and threatened to call a press conference announcing their imminent divorce. The story never makes clear, however, what kept her from doing so.

The Enquirer's "Jilted Julia Runs Back to Lyle" story suggests that Roberts, fresh from her breakup with actor Benjamin Bratt, spent a few days with her ex-husband, Lyle Lovett, a scenario that has reportedly created "some tension" between her and Lovett's girlfriend, April Kimble. While the story never claims that Roberts and Lovett are anything more than friends, Kimble "didn't like the way Julia looked at Lyle," says a source. "There was that old love deep down inside of him—and Julia was fanning the flames. It made April furious, but she didn't make a scene. She often just disappeared to sulk over Julia's hold on her man." If she reads the Star, however, Kimble might be tempted to call Lovett an #@%**#. Its story goes for the gusto with a totally florid account of a supposed romantic reconciliation between Roberts and Lovett. "He begged her: 'Come back to me—I've always loved you,' " claims an eyewitness. "Lyle took Julia in his arms and hugged her tight. He kissed her tenderly on the lips. Julia broke off for a second, then a tear rolled down her cheek. She told Lyle: 'I still love you, too. … I should never have left you.' " Now could someone please tell Star scribe Peter Kent's mother that all those correspondence courses in romance novel writing really did pay off?

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Finally, the Dennis Quaid/Meg Ryan/Russell Crowe/Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise axis is hopping this week, so it's time to pay close attention, troops. The Globe reports that Dennis Quaid has now taken up with Shana Moakler, the ex of Olympic boxer and Latin pop star Oscar de la Hoya. Meg Ryan, meanwhile, is the subject of this week's cover story in the Star, which claims that her attempt to rekindle her "torrid romance" with Russell Crowe was foiled by newly single Nicole Kidman; Ryan supposedly set a "sex trap" for Crowe, spending a "steamy night of passion" with him at a New York City hotel, only to discover that he then left New York to join Kidman—an old friend with whom he reportedly was once involved— in Fiji. "It was like a dagger to her heart," reports a "friend." "Meg feels she'll always be fighting Nicole for Russell's love." (The Globe stirs the pot even further, saying that a few nights after his date with Ryan, Crowe spent the night with actress Heather Graham, who just broke up with actor Heath Ledger, who has just returned to his ex Lisa Zane, according to the Star.) Anyway, Ryan might feel better knowing that Kidman apparently has triangles of her own to grapple with. The Enquirer reports that Kidman believes that "Spanish sexpot" Penélope Cruz is "a key reason" for the breakup of her marriage to Tom Cruise. Kidman's soon-to-be ex-husband, however, appears not to be losing any sleep over the situation. Over lunch at L.A.'s trendy Spago restaurant, Cruise and Cruz, perhaps Tabloidland's first homophonic couple, were said to be "beaming, especially Tom. It was as if he was announcing to the world, 'Hey, everybody, this is my chick!' " Well, until the next issue, anyway.

Jennifer Mendelsohn is a free-lance writer based in Baltimore. Visit her Web site at jennifermendelsohn.com.