- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Kin spin

So much for family. Tom Cruise has replaced his sister Lee Anne DeVette with a Hollywood insider as his chief flack.

The 43-year-old actor hired veteran publicist Paul Bloch, who’s also a co-chairman of the Rogers & Cowan publicity firm, reports Associated Press. According to Daily Variety, Mr. Bloch also will oversee publicity for the actor’s production company, Cruise-Wagner Productions. He replaces Miss DeVette, who took over as her brother’s publicist in March 2004 after he left longtime representative Pat Kingsley.

“Lee Anne has done a wonderful job on behalf of myself and Cruise-Wagner Productions over the last few years,” Mr. Cruise said in a statement, “but she has always expressed a desire to oversee and expand the day-to-day activities of my charitable endeavors.”

A call by AP to Rogers & Cowan wasn’t immediately returned Monday night.

The shake-up comes after Mr. Cruise generated some negative publicity earlier this year by criticizing Brooke Shields for taking anti-depression drugs and berating “Today” co-host Matt Lauer for suggesting that psychiatric treatment might help some patients.

He also created a sensation on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” when he got down on his knees and repeatedly jumped up on the talk-show host’s couch, saying his love for Katie Holmes was “beyond cool.”

Mr. Cruise and Miss Holmes, 26, became engaged in June. She is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Not at fault

With concerns over his publicist behind him, Mr. Cruise also can set aside worries that he caused the split between Miss Holmes and her ex-fiancee, Chris Klein.

It wasn’t his fault, Mr. Klein says.

“Her being with Tom has nothing to do with her and I discontinuing our relationship,” the 26-year-old actor said in a recent interview on the syndicated show “Access Hollywood.”

Mr. Klein and Miss Holmes called off their engagement earlier this year, ending a five-year relationship.

“For me, what we had was very, very special, and I hope that she’s making decisions that are making her happy and that she doesn’t have people in her life leading her astray from what she wants and what she believes,” Mr. Klein replied when asked about Miss Holmes becoming involved in Mr. Cruise’s Scientology faith.

Mr. Klein’s new movie, “Just Friends,” co-starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, opens in theaters later this month.

No regrets

Kenny Chesney says he has no regrets about his brief marriage to Renee Zellweger because it taught him a lesson about love.

“She and I fell in love like a couple of schoolkids,” the 37-year-old country music superstar said Monday on ABC’s “The View.”

“I’m glad to know that that can happen, that that exists. And we really still care about each other a lot,” Mr. Chesney said.

He and Miss Zellweger were married in May after first meeting in January. The 36-year-old actress, an Oscar-winner for her role in 2003’s “Cold Mountain,” filed for an annulment in September.

Surely there’s a country song in all of this.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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