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Back to the Hollywood Circus * The Hearsts of Sundance * Lightning Rod Stewart

Assorted stars and social swimmers are now returning from their exotic holidays, except, of course, the ones who decided to have a little nip and tuck during the break. You know who you are.

This story first appeared in the January 14, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Leonardo DiCaprio slipped off to Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan city high in the Peruvian Andes, where he was spotted at a hotel in Cuzco during the holidays. But who was that girl in the hat and the dark glasses with him? Of course it was Gisele Bündchen. Leo had been visiting the supermodel and her family in nearby São Paulo. They loved him as much as Gisele does.

Ricki Lake, in the midst of a messy divorce, was at the same Cuzco hotel with her hot new trainer boyfriend. Ricki just loves his bulging muscles and blonde highlights, which she obviously couldn’t get enough of.

Britney Spears took her family to the sunny island of Nevis in the Caribbean while Kim Cattrall was nearby in St. Barth’s. Too many blonde divas in thongs on one small island might have been a mistake.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas went skiing in Canada, skipping the celebrity crush in Aspen.

Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake flew from England to Vail, where they snowboarded and had snowball fights with each other. Cute.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie went to Rome, where they played tourist, going to museums, restaurants and churches. Did anybody tell the Pope?

Lenny Kravitz discovered he couldn’t take the glare of the bright light that surrounds Nicole Kidman all the time, so he split and has taken up with a gorgeous Brazilian model — aren’t they all — named Isis Arruda.

Keanu Reeves has restarted his romance with Amanda De Cadenet, the eccentric 31-year-old British actress and former wife of rock group Duran Duran’s bass player, John Taylor. Amanda and Keanu broke up in 1999 when he started dating Jennifer Syme, who was killed in a car crash in 2001. Amanda’s 11-year-old daughter, Atlanta, arranged to have her mother and Keanu come to her school’s holiday show in Los Angeles and sat them next to each other. Supposedly, they took one look and that was enough. Until the next installment, anyway.

Kate Moss, ready to celebrate her 30th birthday this week, will realize her dream of becoming a movie actress this year. She has landed a part in the film “Polo,” about the world of smart women, handsome army officers, romantic school girls, lustful grooms and insecure wives based on the bestseller of the same name by Jilly Cooper. Kate is feeling so confident about her acting abilities that she has asked to have her part made bigger. I can wait if you can.

Patricia Hearst and her daughter, Lydia Hearst-Shaw, are on their way to Sundance this weekend for Robert Redford’s annual film festival, where they both have movies premiering. Patty plays a manicurist who has an affair in the movie “Second Best,” all about a group of childhood friends who are going through a midlife crisis. Her co-stars are Joe Pantoliano and Jennifer Tilly. After the screening, there will be a party at the Premiere Magazine Lounge, where they will drink Veuve Clicquot to the movie’s success.

On Sunday, Lydia’s coming-of-age film, “The Lady’s Room,” gets its moment in the snow. And later in the day, Patty will be honored by the Creative Coalition for her support of free speech. Sundance will be oozing with such stars as Julianne Moore, Courteney Cox, Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Isabella Rossellini, Billy Bob Thornton, Willem Dafoe, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Benjamin Bratt, Matt Dillon and Christina Applegate. Let’s hope they don’t get snowed in because the gossip would be too much to bear.

Rod Stewart has just turned 59, but you won’t catch him tossing in the towel. The musical based on his life and his songs is a hit at the Victoria Palace Theater in London, where the tickets are selling for $133 a seat and plans are being made to bring the show to Broadway this year. Rod’s love life continues apace. Although he’s still not divorced from beautiful Amazonian model Rachel Hunter and declares he will never marry again, his girlfriend, Penny Lancaster, is saying she loves children and “I’m sure that it will happen someday. We still feel passion and lust.” Button up, Penny. Let Rod do the talking.

Speaking of blondes, Diane Sawyer, Andrea Mitchell and Leslie Stahl were asked at the New York Times Art & Leisure Weekend why female American broadcast reporters are mostly blonde. Said Stahl, “Our appearance is not the most important quality. We are smart as hell and work hard.” You tell ’em, Leslie. Sawyer recalled something she attributed to Dolly Parton: “I don’t mind being called a dumb blonde because I’m certainly not dumb and I’m really not blonde.” You tell ’em, Diane.

George Clooney is on the loose again. He broke up with his girlfriend, actress Krista Allen, over the holidays. It seems the word “commitment” was tossed around and then tossed right out the window. George’s one true love appears to be his villa in Italy overlooking Lake Como. “Everyone should get a villa in Italy.” Sure, George. And a castle in Spain.

Still, there are times when the place, which he bought in 2002, is just not private enough for him. So he hopped on his Harley Davidson last summer and went looking for something else. He fell in love with a hideaway in the nearby mountains where Leonardo da Vinci studied when he was painting his Mona Lisa. It is owned by the brother of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and George is considering making it a sister villa to the one he already owns.

Sun Valley, Idaho, having read here about the action in Aspen, wants equal time. So — this is where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, the John Kerrys, the Clint Eastwoods, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy and Richard Riordan and Donna Karan were seen skiing, snowshoeing and partying.

The Riordans gave a festive ice-skating party at the Lodge, where Governor Arnold wore a fleece hat, which made him look like a sort of Austrian Dick Tracy, and Hanks and Eastwood attempted figure eights with a modicum of success. A sudden blizzard couldn’t keep the stars away from Ruth and famous attorney Jake Bloom’s “Football, Fun & Food Fete.” One hundred hearty souls made it, including Arnold and Maria, Karan and Barbara and Warren Cowan, who never miss anything at Sun Valley.