- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2006

TomKat still intact

Not true.

That’s the word from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in response to a Tuesday report by Life & Style magazine that the Hollywood superstar and his pregnant paramour have split up.

“It should be known that the story is 100 percent false,” Arnold Robinson, a publicist for the couple, said in a statement. “Mr. Cruise and Ms. Holmes are still engaged and are moving forward with their wedding plans, as well as planning for the arrival of their child.”

The Feb. 27 issue of the magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow, says in a cover story that the public pair “plan to keep up the charade of their romance until after their baby’s birth this spring,” Associated Press reports.

Miss Holmes, 27, and Mr. Cruise, 43, have been engaged since June. They announced her pregnancy in October.

A representative for Life & Style says the magazine stands “100 percent behind our story.” Sources, according to the piece, are two unnamed friends of Mr. Cruise’s.

Jumping into the Frey

Bruce Willis has come out swinging in defense of author James Frey, notes contactmusic.com.

The actor says he’s a big fan of Mr. Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces,” and is directing his ire at former Frey booster Oprah Winfrey. Last month, the talk show maven chided Mr. Frey on national television for embellishing parts of his best-selling book, which originally was billed as a memoir.

“Look at what happened to James Frey in the last two weeks. That’s a great book, and so is the follow-up book,” Mr. Willis rants. “And just because his publisher chose to say that these were memoirs, it took it out of being a great work of fiction … to this guy having to go be sucker punched on Oprah by one of the most powerful women in television, just to grind her own ax about it.

“James Frey is a writer, OK? He can write about whatever he wants. It’s fiction. It’s just shameful how he was treated in some of these things.”

Cowboy crooners

Willie Nelson sang “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys” and “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” more than 25 years ago.

The 72-year-old singer released a different sort of cowboy anthem earlier this week on Valentine’s Day, AP reports.

“Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)” may be the first homosexual cowboy song by a major recording artist. However, it was written long before this year’s Oscar-nominated “Brokeback Mountain” made homosexual cowboys a hot topic.

Available exclusively through ITunes, the song features choppy Tex-Mex-style guitar runs and Mr. Nelson’s deadpan delivery of lines such as “What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?” and “Inside every cowboy there’s a lady who’d love to slip out.”

The song, which debuted Tuesday on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show, was written by Texas-born singer-songwriter Ned Sublette in 1981. Mr. Sublette said he wrote it during the “Urban Cowboy” craze and always imagined Mr. Nelson singing it.

Mr. Nelson also sings “He Was a Friend of Mine” on the “Brokeback Mountain” soundtrack.

Hearing Hemingway

Audio editions of “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “A Farewell to Arms” and other full-length Ernest Hemingway classics, long available only to libraries, soon will be sold to the general public, publisher Simon & Schuster announced yesterday.

The company, which releases the print editions, acquired the audio rights after they became available last year.

In a statement issued through Simon & Schuster, the author’s son, Patrick Hemingway, said his father would have been pleased to have so many of his finest works published in audiobook form.

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

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