Oscar-winning Hollywood heartthrob Ben Affleck and his girlfriend of nine months, Jennifer Garner, are engaged to be married, People magazine reported late Wednesday.

Affleck, 32, popped the question over the weekend, the magazine said, setting the stage for a second round of “Bennifer” wedding fever following Affleck’s aborted nuptial plans with Jennifer Lopez.

“Though neither Affleck nor Garner will officially confirm it, a close friend of his has been spreading the word that the couple are going to tie the knot,” the magazine said.

Affleck’s publicist has denied the pair are planning to marry, while Garner’s representatives refused to comment on the rampant reports of the pair’s betrothal.

But Star magazine reported that “Pearl Harbor” star Affleck went down on one knee during a party during the weekend to celebrate the 33rd birthday of “Elektra” actress Garner at her Los Angeles home.

The couple, who met during the filming of the comic-book adventure “Daredevil,” began dating in August, after Affleck’s break-up with J.Lo.

After being burned by a never-ending blaze of publicity surrounding his relationship with Lopez, Affleck has gone to extraordinary lengths not to be seen in public with Garner or to flaunt their love.

Their lone public appearance together has been a trip to the 2004 World Series in Boston.

The pair have studiously avoided Hollywood’s paparazzi-lined red carpet ceremonies at movie premieres and awards shows and have consistently refused to even confirm they are dating.

Lopez is now married to Latin singer Marc Anthony.



Michael Moore has established a scholarship for students who defy the administration at California State University, San Marcos – the school that canceled a talk by the filmmaker last year, reports The Associated Press.

The Michael Moore Freedom of Speech Scholarship will award $2,500 each to two Cal State San Marcos students “who have done the most to fight for issues of student rights by standing up to the administration,” according to a news release issued Wednesday.

The first of the annual scholarships will be awarded in the 2005-06 academic year. Winners will be announced in June.

Cal State San Marcos President Karen Hynes revoked Moore’s invitation to speak on campus last fall because she said the school was prohibited from spending state money on partisan political activity. Hynes said she did not believe there would be enough time to find a speaker whose opinions could balance Moore’s liberal views.

A call to Hynes’ office was referred to Cal State San Marcos spokesman Rick Moore, who has no relation to the filmmaker and said he did not wish to discuss the merits of the scholarship that encourages students to stand up to administrators.

“Mr. Moore has the right to do whatever he wishes to do and we’re glad to see another scholarship available to students who go to our school,” he said.



Keanu Reeves and Diane Keaton are rumored to be Hollywood’s newest odd couple, reports Ananova.com.

Reeves, 40, and Keaton, 59, played lovers in the 2003 film Something’s Gotta Give and have become increasingly close in real life. Keaton has become a frequent visitor to his Los Angeles home, they speak on the phone often and she attended the ceremony when Reeves received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Keaton’s past loves include Woody Allen, Al Pacino and Warren Beatty, while Keanu was linked with Amanda De Cadenet.

His ex-girlfriend Jennifer Syme was pregnant with their child in 1999 but the baby was stillborn and Syme was killed two years later in a car accident.



Anna Nicole Smith has had yet another wardrobe malfunction, reports MSNBC.com.

The merry widow and diet-pill plugger startled the crowd at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry by flashing the audience.

“She was onstage dancing with some cloggers when she broke loose from her partner and did her own thing,” said one stunned ticket-holder. “She was shimmying around, shaking her breasts, and lifted up her skirt in a sort of square-dance-can-can move and gave the audience a view of her panties. And then she did some sort of crazy dance where she turned around and stuck her butt out at the audience and lifted her skirt. At one point, her breast popped out.”

The source says the crowd at the famed country music hall – which included singing legend Loretta Lynn – “didn’t seem to know what to make of Anna’s antics but seemed to be having a good time. Even the folks in the cheap seats got their money worth because most of it was on the big video screens.”



To honor the man the mayor calls “the most famous person to come out of Augusta,” the Georgia city will unveil a life-size bronze statue of entertainer James Brown on May 6, reports The Associated Press.

Brown is scheduled to attend the dedication along with his former road manager, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who will offer a prayer of dedication at the event.

The statue will stand in front of Augusta Common on Broad Street, with the unveiling coming three days after the “Godfather of Soul” celebrates his 72nd birthday.

“There is absolutely no question that James Brown is an icon in entertainment,” Mayor Bob Young said. “There’s no doubt that he’s the most famous person to come out of Augusta. He’s an icon. This is a way for us to share that with visitors to Augusta, to give them a James Brown experience.”


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