Celebrities caught gossips napping ALTERED STATES

Sunday's wedding of actress Julia Roberts to musician Lyle Lovett caught most of the media's entertainment reporters by surprise: spokespeople for Liz Smith, Cindy Adams and other established tattlers said they were delighted for the couple but had "no comment" on missing one of the biggest entertainment scoops of the year.

Linda Ellman, supervising producer for "Entertainment Tonight," sees the discreet ceremony in Marion, Ind., as a victory for Ms. Roberts after several years of being hounded by the press. Over the past few years, Ms. Roberts had been romantically linked with several other actors -- including Jason Patric and Daniel Day-Lewis -- and broke off her much touted wedding with actor Kiefer Sutherland hours before it was to begin.


"I think she had really learned her lessons from being in a fishbowl and knew that her every move would be monitored by the paparazzi," Ms. Ellman says. "This way she managed to do something very privately in Hollywood -- which can often be very difficult.

"We were aware that they had been seen together -- she's gone to a number of concerts with him and the two of them were obviously having a lot of fun -- but I don't think that any one of us thought this was an imminent thing."


At least one reporter, however, begs to disagree. Linda Stasi, gossip columnist for New York's Daily News -- yes, the very one who broke the story about Marla Maples's pregnancy -- reported in her column last week that things seemed to be heating up between Ms. Roberts and Mr. Lovett. She revealed that Ms. Roberts appeared dressed as a man on stage while her secret fiance sang "Stand By Your Man."

"We just seem to know things, luckily," Ms. Stasi says. "We knew Julia and Lyle were a hot item when no one knew they were going out."

Iain Calder, editor-in-chief and president of the National Enquirer tabloid, hints that his publication was also in the know. He claims the Enquirer will soon present some "terrific exclusive pictures."

Not so exclusive is the attraction actors and musicians seem to hold for one another. Says Ms. Ellman of "Entertainment Tonight," "Today we were all talking about these beautiful actresses who find themselves married to musicians. I guess it's a nice creative blend: Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel, Rachel Hunter and Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and Jeri Hall. Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek [founding member of the Cars]."

But no one will speculate on how the marriage of Ms. Roberts, 25, and Mr. Lovett, 35, may weather the celebrity storms of Hollywood.

"The odds on how long the marriage is going to last? You can't make odds on it. I don't think it's a nice a thing to do, myself," says Scott Kaminsky, office manager for Las Vegas Sports Consultants, odds consultants for sports books in Nevada.

"I hope they stay married until death do them part."