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Less than a month after Athina Onassis turned 18 and inherited her first billion dollars, she is demonstrating the kind of independence her maternal ancestors were famous for. She has been spending a lot less time in school and in her penthouse in Brussels, which some have compared to a gilded cage with armed guards, and a lot more time with her Brazilian lover, Olympic showjumper Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto. To make her father, Thierry Roussel, even more nervous, she is in Brazil this week meeting her boyfriend’s family. His parents threw a big fat Brazilian birthday party in honor of his 30th in São Paulo last weekend, where Athina met his childhood friends and — how about this? — his three-year-old daughter, Viviana, by his estranged wife, Sibele Dorsa, a Brazilian model and actress.
Athina and Alvaro are going to Rio for Carnivale this weekend and will be staying with friends at an island paradise in the Atlantic off Ipanema. Love, your magic spell is everywhere.
Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt will try to kill each other next year. This is not a psychic prediction but hot casting news. The two box office champions will pair for the first time in a movie called "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," in which they will play a couple at war with each other. It’s not a totally new cinematic concept, but in this case they are undercover assassins, each hired to liquidate the other. Nicole will reportedly get $15 million and Brad an undisclosed amount. The story has been described as "The War of the Roses" meets "True Lies." No screwball comedy here.
Talk about dramatic marriage problems. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, this era’s Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (sort of), are said to be tossing Noel Coward’s whips at each other in Wales, Bermuda and on the way to various awards ceremonies. Backstage gossip has them being offered $3 million to star in a London production of "Private Lives" to open in the spring of 2004. That would probably put them on Broadway in 2005, just in time for the 75th anniversary of the play’s premiere performance starring Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence. Elizabeth and Richard did this exact turn on Broadway in 1983. How time flies when you’re having a good time in the theater.