PARIS - Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and basketball ace Tony Parker married in a civil wedding ceremony at the weekend, but well-wishers and photographers got only a fleeting glimpse of the celebrity couple.
Hundreds of photographers and passersby climbed on to ladders, traffic bollards and parked scooters straining to spot the couple when they arrived to be married by the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, in a Parisian town hall.
The cheering crowd got no more than a quick wave from the diminutive actress as she stepped from white stretch limousine and a brief, rueful smile from Parker while the couple's own photographers followed them into the building.
Boos and catcalls from frustrated cameramen accompanied their departure an hour and a half later when blacked-out limousines whisked away the newlyweds and their entourage.
The marriage of Longoria, one of television's biggest stars after the worldwide success of Desperate Housewives, and Parker, fresh from his third NBA championship, has been billed as the celebrity wedding of the year.
Longoria plays the conniving, adulterous Gabrielle Solis on the hit ABC show, which debuted in 2004.
Outside the town hall, the crowd, swollen by curious tourists, was eager to see more of Longoria's fuchsia mini dress and Parker's escort of top sportsmen, including French soccer player Thierry Henry.
But old hands among the professional celebrity watchers were put on their guard when two black limousines with shaded windows and German number plates eased into a concealed courtyard behind the town hall before taking away the glamour couple.
To be sealed in a church ceremony yesterday, the marriage has attracted huge interest, but there have been slim pickings for most media due to an exclusive deal with OK! magazine reported to be worth some US$2 million.
Fellow cast members from Desperate Housewives, Parker's San Antonio Spurs teammates, Miami Vice star Jamie Foxx, singer Lionel Richie, Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones are all expected at the church ceremony and a lavish reception afterwards.
Details have largely been kept secret, but the ceremony was expected to take place in Saint Germain l'Auxerrois, a former royal church opposite the Louvre.