updated 11/07/2006 AT 12:25 PM ET
•originally published 11/13/2006 AT 6:00 AM ET
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, sharing several kisses at the Condé Nast-sponsored Black Ball in New York City. The bride-to-be (the couple will tie the knot in a 17th-century castle in Italy on Nov. 18, Italian designer Valentino told us at the event) looked stunning in a backless dress and whispered to Cruise during the charity event’s musical performances, featuring a set by the evening’s host, Alicia Keys. (The gala benefited Keep a Child Alive, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with HIV/AIDS in Africa.) Also making the scene: estranged couple Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons, as well as Anne Hathaway.
Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz, partying with Jessica Simpson and friends at L.A.’s Hyde Lounge. “Jessica was really enjoying herself, just hanging out with the girls,” an observer tells us. “She took pictures of everyone with her digital camera. Ashlee contorted her mouth, eyes, eyebrows and cheeks in a funny-face style as she posed with her sister, their friends and Pete.” And Ashlee and Pete – who seem to be making Hyde one of their hangs – “looked very cozy together, sitting side by side.” Days later at the relaunch of Genetic Denim at L.A.’s Arena, Wentz told us that he and Simpson are “just friends,” but added that she’s a “sweet girl.”
Hilary Duff and Joel Madden, strolling around the farmer’s market at The Grove in Los Angeles. They affectionately pushed each other around and chatted with a large group of people.
Jaime Pressly, showing off her engagement ring at a Dallas cocktail party for her fashion line, J’aime. The My Name Is Earl star and her longtime boyfriend, deejay Eric Cubiche, got engaged last month.
Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen and actress fiancé Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), flipping through DVD titles in the foreign-film section of an L.A. Blockbuster Video.
Lance Bass and boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl, partying at a Hennessy bash hosted by actress Zoe Saldana at G-Spa in New York City’s meatpacking district. Also there: Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Andy Roddick.
Kerry Washington and fiancé David Moscow, rubbing noses at a New York City screening of the documentary American Blackout. So, how’s the wedding planning going? “Were you talking to our mothers? Did they ask you to ask us that question?” Washington said with a laugh. We have huge families so everybody’s going to be there. That’s the major thing. She’s got 200 plus on her side, I’ve got 200 plus on my side, and then friends,” Moscow told us. “It’s gonna be like four or five days and it’s gonna be all the family, all the friends.”
By VANESSA DIAZ, LISA INGRASSIA, MOLLY LOPEZ, KELLY LUMPKINS, TIFFANY MCGEE, LESLEY MESSER, JENNIFER ODELL and JEFFREY SLONIM