Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, despite denials and protests, are more than ever into Scientology.
My sources tell me that as recently as December, Lopez and Anthony were taking professional business meetings at Scientology's Celebrity Center in Hollywood.
Anthony is said to have taken the "purification" course, a hopped-up sauna that supposedly "cures" all ills. Lopez may have invested in the IRS-sanctioned religion thanks to infertility issues and difficulties in the couple's marriage.
What's very clear is that Lopez and Anthony's sudden friendship with chief celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise is no accident. Other than belonging to the expensive pay-as-you-go religion, Cruise and the Lopez-Anthonys would have nothing in common.
From what I'm told, Lopez and Anthony entered Scientology with the help of Angelo Pagan, the husband of "King of Queens" actress Leah Remini. Both Pagan and Remini — mostly the former — have taken dozens of pricey courses in L. Ron Hubbard's creation.
In keeping with Scientology's Hollywood deal in which members hire each other, Pagan has had parts in John Travolta's "Swordfish" and Jenna Elfman's "Dharma & Greg," as well as in several episodes of "King of Queens."
This would also account as well for Remini's sudden promotion into the Cruise inner circle, as witnessed by her appearance at Cruise's wedding with Katie Holmes outside Rome, and the now constant mention of the Cruises, Reminis (er, Pagans) and Lopez-Anthonys as if they were three happy-go-lucky couples on a sitcom, all hanging together.
In fact, their proximity is very well-organized and orchestrated as a publicity stunt to make Cruise and Holmes seem "normal." Add to this group newly arrived U.K. celebs David and Victoria Beckham. For clueless Middle America, the idea is "bridge night."
But it's not so. Lopez confided in at least one friend that she "would do anything" to help her marriage. Sadly, among the couple's public problems has been infertility. Lopez will be 37 in July and has made no secret of her desire to become a mother. But through three marriages (Anthony, Chris Judd and Ojani Noa) and two long-term public relationships (Sean "Diddy" Combs and Ben Affleck), no pregnancy has occurred.
Additionally, Lopez's high-gear career skidded to a halt a couple of years ago as over-saturation in bad movies accompanied by a series of increasingly poorly received albums did her in.
Scientology is notable for recruiting stars at low points in their careers or personal lives, preying on uncertainty, instability or just plain fear by promising to fix life issues.
A source says that they were invited to meet Lopez and Anthony at the Celebrity Center where they were ensconced in four-star digs. There, Anthony talked excitedly about the "purification" program while Lopez discussed career matters.
"They're in," a source said. "There's no doubt about it."
Lopez's father has been a Scientologist for 20 years, as recently revealed. Lopez's publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnick, referred me to Lopez's comments to Page Six magazine, in which she stated that she would not be converting to Scientology from Catholicism.
But she also agreed to pass along an e-mail to Lopez and Anthony with questions for this story. They have not responded.
Whitney Houston never did get the full $100 million that she negotiated with Arista Records six years ago.
Houston, I'm told, got about $20 million up front on a contract Arista Records gave her thanks to then-president L.A. Reid. But when Reid left for Island/Def Jam, and Houston's consequent album failed to sell, Sony BMG took over the contract and cancelled it.
"Whitney never got any more money," a source told me recently.
If Houston does make a comeback album now with Clive Davis — and Davis may well pull this off — Houston will only be paid for the recording and expenses. Otherwise, I'm told the coffers are empty for her.
"She still owes us for the last album," a source familiar with Houston's arrangement tells me.
This would account for Houston letting her Atlanta home be sold in foreclosure late last year and for letting personal items be sold at an auction. She's held on to her New Jersey estate, but not with Sony BMG's help.
It didn't get nominated for best picture, but this weekend Bill Condon's "Dreamgirls" will hit the $100 million mark.
Aside from "The Departed," the film version of Michael Bennett's stage musical is now the only other movie in Oscar contention to have that distinction. "Little Miss Sunshine," "Babel," "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland" et al have all been minor theatrical events.
"Babel," no matter hard it's promoted, is almost audience-proof with just $32 million in its till. It's done much better in foreign territories with another $61 million banked. Logic has not been an issue abroad, apparently.
In the meantime, some big releases were dead on arrival. They include, for better or worse, "The Good German," "Breaking and Entering," "Miss Potter," "The Painted Veil," "We Are Marshall," "Perfume" and "The History Boys."
Jennifer Hudson won best supporting actress at the BAFTA Awards on Sunday, but she was backstage at the Grammys when she got the word. Hudson, now on the cover of Vogue, was headed to Japan for "Dreamgirls" publicity. She was a little shocked by the BAFTA.
"I didn't see that one coming," she told me, shaking her head. If she had, she would have been there.
Based on a warning about the failing EMI Music, Warner Music Group's stock dropped yesterday to an all-time low: $18.
This comes less than a week after Warner Music Group announced a 74 percent drop in profits. EMI is living on its current Norah Jones release and the Beatles catalog, with a little help from newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae.
At one time, the thinking was that EMI and WMG would merge. But now the two of them would have to find a third party who would want to buy them. Soon, only Sony BMG and Universal will remain.
Universal Pictures chief Ron Meyer brought his two younger kids to the Grammys. His son was dressed in a child's tux. All of them seemed to be having a grand time.
Burt Bacharach had to explain to Staples Center security guards at the stage entrance who he was in detail before they would let him in. Very awkward.
Whitney Houston's one truly animated moment at Clive Davis' party: reuniting with Narada Michael Walden, the producer who made her famous with her first album.
Randy Jackson, of "American Idol" fame, picked up a Grammy for producing protégé Van Hunt on a version of Sly and the Family Stone's "Family Affair."
Lest everyone think Melissa Etheridge's song from the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is a lock for an Oscar, she lost the Grammy for best song from a movie to James Taylor singing a Randy Newman song from "Cars."