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Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp dating on the sly

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A new year, a new romance: Actress Meg Ryan and veteran rocker John Mellencamp are reportedly dating on the quiet.

Newly separated Mellencamp, who announced his split from wife of 18 years Ellen in late December, began dating the Hollywood actress several weeks ago, claims

A source close to Ryan tells the magazine that the pair has been dating for seven weeks, adding that the Mellancamps were already separated at the time.

Speculation has been rife that Ryan was the third wheel which came between the Mellencamps and brought down the curtain on their marriage. Not true, sources say.

"Meg came into the picture much later - well after they decided to split,"
a source tells

So what fuelled the coupled-up speculation? The twosome were snapped together walking hand-in-hand in Manhattan last October. See exhibit A here.

The couple was also snapped together in New York yesterday.

Naysayers say their relationship is strictly platonic, adding that the pair is working together on a new musical adaptation of Stephen King story Ghost Brothers, which Mellencamp has written a song for.

But we know a budding romance when we see one.

Mellencamp and his new lady have been spotted out and about in Martha's Vineyard having coffee and doing a spot of grocery shopping together in New York City.

"She usually comes in by herself or with her daughter. I thought that was her husband because they seemed for comfortable and familiar with each other, just like an old married couple," a Martha's Vineyard resident tells People.

Mellencamp has been married three times and has five children. Ryan divorced her husband of 10 years, actor Dennis Quaid, in 2001. Then she had that fling with Proof Of Life co-star Russell Crowe.

Ryan spoke of her Crowe hook-up in an interview with InStyle magazine three years ago. She also alleged her ex-hubby Quaid had done the dirty on her.

"Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful. I am not a victim. I was there. I was in that marriage for a really long time."

She also trashed talk that Crowe broke up her marriage.

"Russell didn't break up the marriage. I was a mess. I hurt him too at the end. I couldn't be in another long relationship. It wasn't the time for that. So I got out."

That she did, for years. She's been a single gal since...until now. Well, unless you count a rumoured fling with Susan Sarandon's ex Tim Robbins. Quite the scandal.

Good luck, you crazy kids.

Lohan's ex appeal

She's only been out of rehab for a day and she's already causing strife.

Lindsay Lohan, who left the Betty Ford Clinic yesterday after a 90-day court-mandated stay, could be facing another spell in the slammer if she's found to be in violation of her probation after that squirmish at the clinic in December.

The Betty Ford staffer who claimed LiLo walloped her during an argument had initially "desired prosecution," but she's since said she doesn't want to "do anything that would violate Lindsay's probation or cause an arrest."

Case closed? Not likely.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department tells CNN that Lohan violated her probation during the December 12 altercation and want her charged with battery.

But LiLo's got other problems on her hands. Her ex-lover Samantha Ronson.

Ronson, who split with LiLo over a year ago, is spitting tacks because the starlet has decided to shack up in her neighbourhood in Venice Beach, California - right next door to her.

Word is Ronson is non-too pleased about the move.

When she spotted LiLo's father Michael moving things in to her new digs, "Samantha walked out of the building next door. She was shaking her head and looking disgusted. She kept saying, 'I didn't plan it this way'," a source says.

Ronson's grump was also caught on camera. Check it out here

Cheer up, Ronson, word is Lohan's only rented the pad for a month. Meantime, you could always break the ice by offering her a bowl of sugar.

Ah, neighbourly love.

Blogger's Briefs
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And finally...

Mamma mia! ABBA to reform?

Agnetha Faltskog has dropped a major hint that the disbanded Swedish supergroup may reform for a one-off charity gig.

She told Swedish magazine M, "I just feel it would be fun to meet, chat about the old days and perhaps perform," Faltskog was quoted as saying.

"We would not get together again for a tour like the Rolling Stones and other old bands do.

"I think we would all consider a one-off reunion."

Pardon me while I spontaneously combust. Bring it on, Agnetha.

Lovely to be back in the gossip saddle, folks. Happy New Year to you all!

Blogger Bites Back

* Read more celebrity news and gossip from Myrddin Gwynedd (MG) here

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