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/ Source: msnbc.com
By By Jeannette Walls with Ashley Pearson

Nicole Kidman is dreading the prospect of running into her ex, Tom Cruise, at the Golden Globes this year, says a source — but even more so, she is cringing at the thought of encountering his current sweetie, Penelope Cruz.

“Both Tom and Nicole are nominated [Cruise for “The Last Samurai” and Kidman for “Cold Mountain”] and various people are working behind the scenes on details such as arrival times, to avoid any awkward meetings,” says the source. “But mostly, Nicole doesn’t want to cross paths with Penelope. She’s slightly obsessed with Penelope, and went to great lengths to avoid her at Cannes. She has let it be known that she really, really doesn’t want any unpleasant encounter to upstage the evening.”

The awards ceremony takes place next Sunday, and Cruz’s rep tells The Scoop, “At this point, Penelope is still undecided about whether or not she will attend the Golden Globe Awards.”  Kidman’s “date,” meanwhile, is her parents.

Kidman’s rep, however, scoffs at the suggestion that she’s trying to influence Cruise’s choice of escorts for the evening, telling The Scoop, “Nicole would not presume to tell Tom who to bring to an awards show.”

Ben's banned topic

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 15: Actor Ben Affleck poses during a photocall to promote his new film "Paycheck" at the Ritz Hotel on January 15, 2004 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ben AffleckCarlos Alvarez / Getty Images Europe

Don’t ask Ben Affleck about J. Lo! That was the demand of reporters interviewing the “Paycheck” star while he was promoting the film in Europe. And some unhappy reporters found out that Affleck’s handlers meant what they said after they abruptly cut short a press conference when J. Lo questions were asked.

“It was just a few minutes into the interviews,” says the insider. “Ben was talking about Matt Damon and he seemed really happy to talk about that. Then someone asked if Jennifer had influenced his musical tastes and someone else asked where she was.”

Affleck got quite tense and sullen-looking, says the source, but tersely responded to the questions. His publicist then stepped up and called a halt to the press conference. “The reporters were all complaining and jeering,” says the insider. “The whole thing had lasted only about five minutes, and everybody was told to leave. It wasn’t a pretty sight.”

“Unfortunately there were many questions about his personal life,” Affleck’s rep tells The Scoop, “and Ben answered every one.”   

Entertainer Michael Jackson (C) leaves the courthouse after his arraignment in Santa Maria, California January 16, 2004. Jackson pleaded innocent to child molestation charges on Friday during a hearing that attracted hundreds of fans who sang and chanted their support outside the courthouse. REUTERS/POOL/Kevork DjansezianPool / X80003

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