A nanny? What's it all about, Jude Law?

Posted: July 19, 2005

Nannygate has caught up with Alfie star Jude Law. In his case, the nanny, Daisy Wright, 26, was apparently doing her job . . . and more.

After British tabloids reported that Law the Lothario had an affair with Wright, he issued a statement saying he is "deeply ashamed and upset that I've hurt Sienna and the people most close to us." Sienna, of course, is Sienna Miller, 23, Law's fianc┬Łe, whom he met on the Alfie set.

Nannygate was uncovered by Law's ex-wife, Sadie Frost, who allegedly heard the news from one of the three children she shares with the actor. It was Frost who hired Wright earlier this year to look after one of the children.

Now family-man Law, 32, wants to be left alone: "There is no defense for my actions, which I sincerely regret, and I ask that you respect our privacy at this very difficult time," he told the Brit papers.

No word from Miller if Law's been banished to cold mountain.

And we can't speak of Cold Mountain without mentioning Nicole Kidman, Law's costar in the 2003 film. With daily news about her ex Tom Cruise's seemingly bizarre bouts of couch-jumping to proclaim love and rants against psychiatry, curious minds are wondering how deep Kidman was immersed in Scientology, Cruise's religion.

The New York Post reports that Kidman had apparently reached "an elite level" in the religion but Scientology higher-ups preferred to keep it under wraps, fearing it wouldn't look good to have such a major star back away from the faith. Cruise and Kidman divorced in 2001.

Still more Cruise news

Proving there's always room for Cruise news, or Cruise non-news in this case, the actor's ex-girlfriend, Rebecca DeMornay, isn't talking. The Post reports The Hand That Rocks the Cradle actress ever-so-politely turned down a chance to dish when a Fox News Channel entertainment reporter asked about the blissful Cruise/DeMornay days. "Tom Cruise was a boyfriend of mine. We lived together. I can't comment on that stuff publicly 'cause it doesn't help anybody. I could tell you more if you weren't a journalist."

In his memory

On Thursday, Ritz Theaters in Philadelphia and New Jersey will be closed in memory of Ramon Posel, the chain's founder, who would have celebrated his 78th birthday on that date. Posel died on June 23.

Festival winners

The winners of the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival were announced last night. Among jury winners: When I'm 64 (gay feature); Sevigne (lesbian feature); little man (documentary); Gold (gay short); Who's the Top? (lesbian short); and Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road (short documentary). Audience winners were Guys & Balls (gay feature); Girl Play (lesbian feature); and The Aggressives (documentary).

Matt on the move?

A fresh batch of rumors are out that morning man Matt Lauer and model wife Annette Roque are parting company. The Post says the old story was revived after Today host Lauer showed up at a Hamptons spots sans Roque. Today reps told the Post that Matt's personal life wasn't up for discussion.

All good things . . .

Author J.K. Rowling isn't looking forward to the end run of her mega-successful Harry Potter series. Rowling confided in Welsh junior journalist Owen Jones, 14, during an interview he won in a contest. "I am dreading it in some ways," Rowling said. "I do love writing the books, and it is going to be a shock, a profound shock to me. Even though I have known it is coming for the past 15 years, I have known that the series would end, I think it will still be a shock."

Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth in the seven-book boy-wizard series, was released last week and sold a record 6.9 million copies in 24 hours in the United States.

A change, in Essence

In yet another attempt to fill the hallowed space left by Susan L. Taylor, the venerable former Essence editor for nearly two decades, the magazine yesterday anointed Angela Burt-Murray to the top spot. Burt-Murray, executive editor at Teen People since 2003, worked at Essence from 1998 to 2001. She replaces Diane Weathers, who succeeded Taylor as editor in 2001 but called it quits in March.

The much-loved, perennially braided Taylor became the editorial director of Essence Communications Inc. in 2000 but still writes the magazine's popular "In the Spirit" column.

In a statement yesterday, Taylor gave mad props to Burt-Murray: "Her understanding of the lives of black women, her passion for helping them excel, and stellar leadership skill make her perfect for the editor-in-chief position."

Talking, not whispering

Ying Yang Twins, who have whispered to the top of the charts, will be talking out loud as part of a Q&A panel on Aug. 5 at the 2005 Billboard/AURN R&B Hip-Hop Conference in Atlanta. The duo, who are from Atlanta, will talk about radio airplay, file-sharing, achieving longevity in the music world, and more. The Twins have been around for a while but hit it big with "Wait (The Whisper Song)," a song in the fashion of carnal whispering with highly sexed-up words, inescapable even when radio deletes them.

Free, but at a cost

Fans of Free will get to see a lot more of her, for the cost of a copy of King mag. MTV.com reports that Free, cohost of BET's video countdown show 106 and Park, will grace the cover of the magazine, popular among African American men. No word yet if Free's, er, assets on the cover will become part of a song. The mag's cover bearing Mya - and how it inspired rap star The Game - is documented in "Dreams," The Game's latest hit.

Contact "Newsmakers" at 215-854-5797 or newsmakers@phillynews.com.

Inquirer wire services contributed to this column.

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