The latest from gossip's unverified frontier.

A summary of what's been in the tabloids.
Nov. 11 2005 5:12 PM

First-Date Tips From Tom Cruise

Plus, Martha Stewart has a crush on who?

Life & Style

Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn walk on the beach. Photos of the pair sharing a beach walk in Malibu become a gossip Rorschach test. Us quotes an "eyewitness" who says the conversation seemed "serene"; Life & Style describes the photos as "chilly and pensive"; Star's "eyewitness" gets more expansive, saying, "They didn't seem angry, but they looked like they were having a serious conversation"; while InTouch meekly pronounces it just "a sunset walk on the beach."

Star

Star insults a 14-year-old girl.
No matter how rude Jamie Lynn Spears is, the 14-year-old sister of Britney and star of Nickelodeon's Zoey 101 can't be more bratty than Star, which published these anonymous potshots about the adolescent: "A source close to her family" says, "I think Jamie Lynn is a spoiled brat who's probably already alienated the Zoey cast and crew." And an "eyewitness" reports, "In restaurants, Jamie Lynn often snaps at waiters, treating them like personal servants—and she never says 'please' or 'thank you.' " Please, Star, lay off the kids. Thank you.

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Kevin Federline's seduction technique.
Star says that Mr. Britney Spears was caught flirting at the L.A. nightclub Mood. Rather defensively, the tab states, "Although another eyewitness has been quoted as saying that Federline was on his best behavior that night, Star's eyewitness counters: 'Kevin seemed to flirt with this pretty, dark-haired girl in her late 20s, and, I think, was basically hitting on her … After a while, he suddenly blurted out, 'You have beautiful breasts.' When the girl seemed taken aback by his come-on, Kevin slyly told her, 'Sorry, it's just that I've been cooped up in my house for a while.' "

Tom Cruise's seduction technique.
"All true!" shouts Star's oddly exuberant-yet-defensive display text in an article chronicling the beginning of the romance between "Hollywood's couch-jumping power couple." According to "an insider," Tom and Katie Holmes' first date began when "Tom arrived at Katie's Hollywood home in a stretch limo filled with flowers, chocolate—and a copy of the Scientology handbook!" They then boarded his private plane, enjoying "a lavish dinner at an on-board table set for two." Subsequently, "Tom kept having these 'friends' drop by [the plane]"—all of whom were "fellow Scientology members who praised the virtues of the religion." In the morning, the pair flew to Rome and kissed for the paparazzi.

InTouch

Odd couples of the week. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy? Star says the two are "involved in funny business." "A source" says, "Jenny and Jim seem really into each other. … They're spending a lot of time together, and I hear things are getting pretty steamy!" Martha Stewart and Burt Reynolds? InTouch says that Stewart has been nursing a crush on the Bandit. "Ever since her prison stint, Martha's decided to live for the moment, so she pulled a few strings and got Burt's number. She gave him a call, introduced herself, and now the two have a secret phone relationship going."

Nicole Kidman squeaks and purrs.
Kidman's still-not-officially-confirmed boyfriend, Australian country star Keith Urban, has popped the question, says Star, and its composite photo of the two together surely demonstrates their closeness. A "source" says, "So far she hasn't told Keith yes or no. … But just hearing Nicole squeak and purr with joy about the great feeling Keith's question gave her means she's not dismissing him out of hand." Where, you might ask, did the two Aussie superstars meet? "[A]t an L.A. gala honoring prominent Australians," of course.

Us

Ashlee Simpson terrorizes McDonald's. Us is the only tabloid to go big with the story that circulated on the Internet last week: Ashlee Simpson was caught on video acting drunk in a Toronto McDonald's. "It was crazy!" says "a witness": "She was standing there waving around, so wasted." Simpson's rep's statement: "She had a great night out with friends and wanted to finish it off with a Happy Meal."

In: Reading Star. Out: Not reading Star.
The weekly "In & Out" column in Star takes the following bold stance: "Reading celebrity magazines like Star, as Nicole Ritchie and Britney Spears do" is "In," while "Griping about celebrity magazines, like Jennifer Aniston does," is "Out." Also "Out": "Last season's metallic tops—too flashy!"

Ben Wasserstein is an associate editor at New York magazine.

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