The Diary: Martin Henderson cuddles a cougar

A romance with Hollywood A-lister Demi Moore could be just the career kick-start Martin Henderson needs. Photos / AP
A romance with Hollywood A-lister Demi Moore could be just the career kick-start Martin Henderson needs. Photos / AP

He made his name in Hollywood appearing on a Britney Spears music video.

Now ex-Shortland Street actor Martin Henderson, 37, is dating Demi Moore, 49, according to Life and Style magazine, which has published a series of photographs of the pair at a holiday home in Connecticut last week.

The couple - with a 12-year age gap - were spotted grocery shopping, hiking, attending a barbecue and having a lobster dinner. Onlookers described Demi as being "flirty" in his presence.

Cynics query the timing of the story. It was reported on Monday that Moore was "devastated" over estranged husband Ashton Kutcher's blossoming romance with his That '70s Show co-star Mila Kunis. Pictures of the pair canoodling were plastered across the internet.

Recently, stories surfaced that Moore's daughters, Rumer, 23, Scout, 20, and Tallulah, 18, were finding it difficult to cope with Demi following her "emotional breakdown" after the crumbling of her marriage.

Reports suggested they had "broken ties" with their mother and were embarrassed by her infatuation with younger men. Former High School Musical star Zac Ephron was said to be a target of Demi's lust.

Moore, who went to rehab in January, certainly needs an image overhaul - and fast. But can a little-heard-of Kiwi actor be the answer?

Toyboy or not, Henderson will see his career flourish by associating with the Hollywood A-Lister. One Auckland talent scout said of the rumoured romance, "This will be great for his ailing career."

The star of Kiwi film Home by Christmas has done little since his American TV series Off The Map got canned. He has filmed a thriller, The Moment, due for release next year, but a sizzling Hollywood romance - real or otherwise - could be just the career jump he needs.

It did wonders for Penelope Cruz, who got a boost from her romance with Tom Cruise.

MOVIE MOGUL PLANS TO TAKE THE PLUNGE

Hollywood director James Cameron told the New York Times this week he plans to dive into Lake Pounui, the freshwater lake on his 1100ha Wairarapa estate, when he arrives here in spring.

"I'm anxious to throw on a scuba tank and get down there," he said.

The locals refer to it as "his lake", after Cameron is said to have closed a small hall on his land that was used by the public for wedding receptions. Victoria University scientists reportedly are concerned, too, about their continued access to the lake to research eels.

Asked if he might reconsider opening the hall and pleasing his neighbours, Cameron told the paper, "That's going to be my workshop."

ESPINER'S INTERVIEW QUITE A CRIME COUP

Guyon Espiner made a splash when he jumped to rival TV3, and now his 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night with 73-year-old Anne Perry is expected to boost ratings.

Perry, formerly Juliet Hulme, fled New Zealand in 1959 after serving five years at Mt Eden women's prison for her part in the murder of her friend Pauline Parker's mother. The story became the subject of Sir Peter Jackson's film Heavenly Creatures.

Espiner went to London and spent three days with Perry, now a successful crime writer. "This is the first television interview she has done with New Zealand media. She has done other interviews in the past but obviously New Zealand has been a raw spot for her," he told The Diary.

The 60 Minutes interview follows a book by Kiwi author and associate professor Joanne Drayton, called In Search of Anne Perry. Harper Collins is launching the book - the first authorised biography of Perry - next month.

Perry lives a reclusive life in a remote Scottish fishing village where she writes crime novels.

"She sets her murder mysteries in Victorian London, and as we walked around the city, she pointed to a bridge crossing the Thames and talked about one of the characters in her books whose life comes to a grisly end," Espiner told The Diary excitedly.

BRIDGES (AKA TOM JONES) WOWS PARTY

He's been tipped as a future party leader, but who knew the Hon Simon Bridges was the king of karaoke too? At a private talent show before last week's National Party conference, Bridges, Hekia Parata, Maurice Williamson and Paul Goldsmith pitted their musical skills against each other.

Parata won, singing a medley with the help of her two daughters. Williamson did an adaptation of Green, Green Grass of Home, but the crowd favourite was Consumer Affairs Minister Bridges, with a hip-grinding impersonation of Tom Jones, complete with side-burns. "It was going to be What's New, Pussycat? but in the end I went with It's Not Unusual, the 35-year-old (left) told The Diary. "I was pretty nervous before singing, but fortunately performing in school musicals as a youngster got me through."

The real winner, though, was Nikki Kaye, who holds the video of her caucus colleagues' performances.

ZAMBESI'S EYE ON FRESH CHALLENGES

New Zealand fashion house Zambesi, which has been at the forefront of the industry for more than 30 years, will debut its first eyewear collection at an exclusive party in Auckland next week. Produced in collaboration with an Australian eyewear designer and handmade in Japan, the collection consists of three sunglasses and three optical styles.

For the brand that's built its reputation on its inherent Kiwi roots, even designing staff uniforms for our national airline, a production link to Japan is interesting. The label says it is "the handmade quality and the premium materials used that result in a superior product".

Japanese acetate and organic, hand-dyed lenses and are used together with specific Japanese craftsmanship techniques, taking five months to make. It may explain the price tag: $495-$650.

- NZ Herald

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