LOS ANGELES – Last week, "Dancing With the Stars" sweethearts Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff officially announced that they had split — and we’re told it was in large part because of Lopez's alleged wandering ways.
Lopez has been linked to a 22-year-old bartender from San Antonio, Texas, named Meaghan Cooper, whom he apparently first met four years ago through a mutual friend. But the two were reunited last summer, when Lopez was in San Antonio for a public appearance.
Cooper told Pop Tarts this week that she and Lopez have been dating on and off for the past 11 months and that when she questioned him about his very public relationship with Karina, he insisted that they were broken up and only in contact due to dancing commitments.
Pictures of the pair partying together emerged last June and also appeared on Cooper's personal MySpace page, but she claims they were removed at Lopez's request.
Cooper is an aspiring actress/singer and recently wrapped filming of the ABC reality show "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" in Tokyo, which is set to premiere on June 24.
"After I returned from filming he started acting really weird," she said. "Right now we aren't talking, and I won't return his calls."
A rep for Lopez declined to comment. Another source close to his camp didn't want to confirm or deny the reports to avoid giving Cooper any more attention.
A rep for Smirnoff said that this is obviously a difficult time for her but she is focusing on some very exciting opportunities in her professional life and dealing with the situation as best she can.
Spears Secrets to Be Exposed in Two Books
It looks as though we are about to learn a lot more about Britney Spears and get some insight into why she did the things she did — but from two different sources.
Pop Tarts has confirmed that mama Lynne Spears is back writing a book, to be published by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson. The project was put on hold last year when Lynne's 16-year-old daughter Jamie Lynn became pregnant.
We're told it will be titled "Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World" and is set for a fall release. The book will be a memoir of the Spears family's life in the spotlight rather than a book offering parenting advice, which is what Lynne had initially planned to do.
But another book focusing on Britney is also rumored to be in the works, only this one might be more sinister then sweet. According to the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, investigative reporter Ian Halperin plans to pitch "Stalking Britney: Under Siege With Britney Spears" to publishers next week. The book will apparently uncover details surrounding the songstress' reported suicide attempts and substance abuse issues.
Heidi and Spencer Go Carpet Crazy; Stephanie Pratt 'Doesn't Do Press'
The most irritating "Hills" couple (aka Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt) turned up to Wednesday night's Pinkisthenewblog.com re-launch party at Hollywood's swanky S Bar, but the event was actually, like, over.
While there were still a few people inside enjoying the open bar, the media-lovin' lovers decided to walk the red carpet and pose for the photogs (and paps on the sidewalk) at 11 p.m., when the event was slated to be over.
Meanwhile, Spencer's sister Stephanie has suddenly decided to ride her own 15 minutes of fame and turn up to lots of Hollywood events. Stephanie apparently informed an event insider that she "doesn't do press and if anyone asks her questions she'll say no comment." Oh dear — fame is tough.
However, when the bulbs started flashing and the cameras came out, Miss Pratt reportedly couldn't control her mouth and dished the dirt on anything and everything from brother Spencer's reunion with Brody Jenner to how she thinks L.C. and Audrina will make up.
Pop Tarts has been told that "American Pie" star Jason Biggs will marry actress Jenny Mollen in a ceremony in California this Saturday. The couple officially married on April 23 without any friends or family present in a secret ceremony, so we’re told this is a chance for the two to live out the fairy tale. Sigh.
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