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Katie Holmes's Phantom Flack

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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Will Katie Holmes’s real publicist please stand up? Gossip mongers nationwide have been scratching their heads trying to figure out who’s handling Tom Cruise’s lovesick sidekick now that she’s officially left her publicist of nine years, Leslie Sloane Zelnick.

Though recent reports had Cruise’s publisister, Lee Anne DeVette, representing the knocked-up naif, an assistant at DeVette’s office swears the beleaguered flack has nothing to do with Holmes’s PR. But a source close to the former Dawson’s Creek-er confirms “Lee Anne has been secretly handling Katie for months. They just won’t publicly admit it.”

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“Tom doesn’t want Katie doing her own publicity,” the source continued. “He expects all her photo shoots and interviews to be joint ventures that include him. He loves the attention. When The Last Samurai came out, Tom was literally begging to get magazine covers and no one wanted him because he’s too old and he didn’t sell. Since the affair with Katie, he’s gotten multiple covers from People and Us and he’s talking about doing covers for Vanity Fair, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Elle to promote MI3.”

Hollywood insiders speculate Team Cruise has kept DeVette’s involvement secret in an attempt to dampen rumors that Holmes has become utterly dependent on the star Scientologist. “It’s really just another way of controlling her,” says a friend of the actress. “But I don’t even think they need to at this point. She doesn’t talk to anyone besides Tom and his people anymore, and she didn’t have that many friends to begin with.”

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DeVette, who had no problem speaking for the actress in this week’s issue of People (Holmes "loves" motorcycling with Tom despite her pregnancy and has "never felt better," DeVette gushes), did not return calls or emails for comment. Holmes’s agent at CAA, Hilda Queally, who has watched her client’s career tank since the start of her relationship with Cruise, denied DeVette was representing the actress, saying, “all publicity requests for Katie Holmes go through me.” Sloane Zelnick said that she could no longer speak for her former client, saying only, “I wish Katie the best.”



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