Author Candace Bushnell, whose alter-ego, New York sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw, just earned Sarah Jessica Parker an Emmy nomination, let out an "Aaaack!" when she encountered a former flame lurking in the throng of fans in Santa Monica.
For a reading Friday night of her latest, "Four Blondes,"Bushnell showed up at the Borders bookstore fashionably late--and fashionable--in lime green leather and sequins. The reading part was short and sweet; the good stuff started when the 41-year-old writer decided to field questions from the audience.
From the back of the room a tall, dark and handsome type asked, "So, what's the dating like in London?" Bushnell, who's been seeing London venture capitalist Stephen Morris for a couple of years, didn't quite A the guy's Q.
" There's a man I dated!" she exclaimed. "Don't go out with that man! He's very good looking, but he won't make a commitment!" He smiled innocently and went back to fiddling with his Palm. We moseyed on back to snoop. The mystery man wouldn't give his name but said he dated Bushnell "a long time ago." Things didn't work out, he shrugged, because "she lived in New York, I lived in L.A. Geographically undesirable." Sound familiar?
Speaking of smoldering embers, Bushnell told us that she recently ran into the real Mr. Big (Vogue Publisher Ron Galotti) posing for photographers at a party with the TV Mr. Big ("Sex and the City's" Chris Noth). When she asked to join the picture, "They said, 'No. We're both over you."'
The blond scribe can console herself with the lucrative fact that Universal Studios has optioned "Platinum," a story from "Four Blondes" about a woman who marries a prince and doesn't live happily ever after. Sound familiar?
A Royal Shame
Speaking of princes and unhappily ever after, the late Princess Diana's brother, Charles, otherwise known as Earl Spencer, told BBC Radio over the weekend that her former husband, Charles, Prince of Wales, has yet to visit her grave site at Althorp. Princes William and Harry have been there many times, but in four years there's been nary a Prince Charles sighting. "It may be that he sees her as an ex-wife," the earl suggested. But then again, it may be that the future king of England has been too busy practicing how to publicly peck The Other Woman, horsy consort Camilla Parker Bowles.
Tom Cruise and "Vanilla Sky" co-star Penelope Cruz, were spotted sharing a cozy lunch at Spago in Beverly Hills on Friday. Cruise's publicist Pat Kingsley said it's too soon to call the two actors an item, but, she acknowledges, "they've been on a few dates." Cruz, who's 27, showed up at Cruise's 39th birthday party on July 7. "But they didn't come together or leave together," Kingsley said. Just think: If these two live happily every after, she'll be forever known as Penelope Cruz-Cruise.
On the red carpet at Monday night's Universal City premiere of "Jurassic Park III," actress Tea Leoni and bunificent husband David Duchovny elaborated on their adventures in butt painting.
"It was just an idea I had," Duchovny told us. "I can't really paint. I'm not denigrating artists. I just thought if I painted with my [posterior] it would fetch more money." And it was for a good cause. One cheeky Leoni/Duchovny original raised $3,500 for an animal rights group.
Leoni recently told the Calgary Sun how it was done.
"I apply different colors to his cheeks, and then he sits on the canvas," she said. "Sometimes I get to spank him a little to blend the colors. I defy anyone to say that David and I don't know how to have fun."
So how did Duchovny sign his masterpiece?
"Don't eat meat," he said. "Paint with it."
Renee Zellweger, power-lunching on a cold fillet salad with Revolution Studios' Joe Roth at the Palm in West Hollywood. ... Brad Freeman, treating Bush twins Laura and Jenna to lunch at the Beach Club in Santa Monica. ... Mandy Moore and boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama of "That '70s Show," buying a $210 pair of Christian Dior aviator frames; Rod Stewart's daughter, Kimberly, ordering custom specs with "STEWART" emblazoned in Swarovski crystals; and Stewart's ex-wife, Rachel Hunter, picking out mirrored Christian Dior shades at the C by Karina eyewear boutique on South Robertson in L.A. ... Camryn Manheim, passing around photos of 4-month-old son, Milo; k.d. lang, hiding in a corner; and Lenny Kravitz, working the red carpet, at a downtown L.A. screening of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."
Times staff writers Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. E-mail: email@example.com.