Thu May 26, 1:36 AM ET
Tom Cruise has a lot in common with Bill Clinton. Did you know that? I've observed both legends for years. Met them, also. Interesting how both type-triple-A achievers tend to have clouds of stormy scuttlebutt surrounding them, most times. In the midst of all the glitzy showers and ass-lickings, that is.
Take Oprah's tongue just this week. Now, I don't think I could get my uvula that far up somebody's behind--even if the behind belonged to Alec Baldwin. That was pretty impressive television, my sweets. Not to mention damn creepy.
"He's been planning this," whispered a Cruise film colleague (who's been toiling right alongside T.C. for many, many months) about Tom reportedly setting up a blueprint schedule for announcing a new girlfriend. "She was always going to be young, that much I knew."
"They just met," countered a Cruise spokesperson. "There was no plan. He asked her out on a date!"
But why, then, have I received more email on this topic than in this column's history (Michael Jackson nut-jobs notwithstanding)--with all correspondents uniformly claiming they don't buy the new romance?
Also, Cruise's comments regarding Brooke Shields' "misguided" decision to take antidepressants for postpartum depression triggered an avalanche of mail in itself.
Deborah from Hallieford, Virginia, wrote that she used to have "nothing but love" for the movie idol. "Now, flash-forward, and he's diagnosing women after childbirth. Hey, from someone who suffered the same, he needs to take his gynecological degree and shove it."
Nevertheless, through it all, Cruise gropes (Katie and Oprah, certainly) and charms and convinces like nobody's business. Like Clinton, he has you thinking he must really believe what he's telling us!
Then why is he trying so friggin' hard?
"Because he has movies to sell!" snipped a high-level studio exec who works with T.C.
"Because even he doesn't believe himself anymore," griped an Industry observer who mingles with Cruise at professional occasions.
"Because he's sincere and a bit old-fashioned," remarked a close chum to Cruise, who's admittedly a bit taken aback by the vehement reaction against him and Katie Holmes.
Who wouldn't be?
Ultimately, there's really only one hope for Cruise to get himself out this public-relations storm, in my opinion. He's got to do just as the 42nd Prez did not do and come clean. Or at least wink to us that this sudden romance, is, bien bien sūr, good for flick biz. Anything to deflect the incredibly convenient coo-coo-ca-choo of it all.
And listen, if Tommy-dude does fess up with some toothy aplomb, even better. You know, that biz that absolutely slays you when you meet him in person. I know. He has this way of making you feel like there's nobody else in the world he'd rather be speaking to than you.
Well, except maybe for Oprah.
"We are so not their kind."
--Drew Barrymore to yours truly at the Motorola Queer as Folk shindig, when I begged Ms. B. to please marry her pretty boyfriend, Fabrizio Moretti, so us celeb-watchers could have some newlyweds other than Britney and Kevin to talk about Too many parties. Too many poopings. More on Drew, but first, the gardener's in a mood to mow...
While Desperate Housewives hunk Jesse Metcalfe (minus his new wow-pal, Tara Reid) waited outside the Inside E3 bash at Hollywood's Avalon, security goons--not Wilmer Valderrama's for a change--tried to figure out who the hell the pretty boy was. Pretty boy was not amused.
Nor was Johnny Knoxville, Dukes of Hazzard and rumor-mill renegade.
Cutie J.K. was very busy at the E3 do trying to explain why he was not enjoying the company of any famous married blondes. "Nothing ever happened," he sighed.
So glad to know it. Now, if someone would just please explain what the hell is going on with fading-away Lindsay Lohan, I might be able to sleep at night.
"She's gonna be thisbig," said Queer as Folk's Peter Paige, holding up his index finger at the final-season premiere's after-party. Naked boys and gyrating movie stars were all the sweaty rage at the David Cooley estate in Hancock Park--where blue-blood nabes must have hated the thump-thump-thump long into the night.