J. Lo, Affleck an item

New York � People magazine and Us Weekly have dueling Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez stories on their covers this week.

Both are reporting, according to anonymous "pals" and "close sources," that the two are an item.

People's Aug. 12 issue quotes sources who say the singer-actress began introducing Affleck to friends as her boyfriend three days before she and her second husband, dancer Cris Judd, filed for divorce last month. She and Judd had been married for 10 months.

Us boasts in its Aug. 12 issue that it has exclusive photos of the couple, and quotes friends who say they aren't hiding their relationship.

Affleck, 29, and Lopez, 32, got to know each other last winter on the set of the movie "Gigli," which is scheduled to come out next year.

Laughter, the best medicine

Los Angeles � Ray Romano will be delivering punchlines to raise money for a study examining laughter's effect on ailing children.

Romano, star of the CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," is the headliner at a Sept. 27 benefit for the UCLA Jonsson Cancer study.

Kevin James of CBS' "The King of Queens" and standup comedian Wendy Liebman also will entertain, concert co-sponsor Comedy Central announced Wednesday. Tickets went on sale Thursday.

The study, Rx Laughter, is testing whether laughter can help children and adolescents deal with the pain of treating life-threatening illnesses including cancer.

Divorce wanted by wife

Vero Beach, Fla. � The wife of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh has filed for divorce and sought custody of the couple's two children.

In a petition filed at the Indian River County Courthouse, Reve Walsh said her 31-year marriage was irretrievably broken.

John Walsh acknowledged in court documents that "there are marital difficulties at this time," but denies the marriage is irretrievably broken. He asked the court to delay the divorce hearing until he and his wife can attend marriage counseling.

The Walshes' son Adam, then 6, was abducted July 27, 1981, from a Broward County Sears store. Adam's death led his parents to co-found the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., in 1984.

'Ed' actor arrested for crack

New York � Josh Randall, who plays Dr. Mike Burton on the NBC television series "Ed," has been arrested for allegedly smoking crack cocaine in a city park.

His attorney, calling the case a misunderstanding, said Randall asked for a drug test but was turned down by police.

Police said Randall, 30, was smoking crack with a homeless man Wednesday in a park near the Brooklyn Navy Yard night. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, and police said they recovered a small quantity of crack at the scene.


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