NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Actress Demi Moore attends the "Margin Call" premiere at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on October 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Updated: January 1, 2012 8:14AM
After many months of stress, Demi Moore is quickly healing from her split with husband Ashton Kutcher, two friends report.
“Demi obviously still has a ways to go and still can get a bit weepy from time to time, but she is doing much better than I would have expected at this early stage,” said a film executive who has been close to Moore for many years.
Another source added, “I do think she’s moved on, which I guess I find a bit surprising, but am happy for her. … It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off her shoulders.
“She isn’t as tense and clearly unhappy like she was all summer.”
While Moore did not attend the big debutante ball in Paris last weekend — where her daughter Tallulah Belle made her debut — that mainly was to avoid the press she knew would be present.
Both of my sources report they expect Moore to begin dating “in the not too distant future.” One explained, “Demi needs a man in her life. She’s a very dynamic, very sexual woman, and she has to have a guy around.
“It’s not that she’s needy. It’s just she enjoys being in a healthy, active relationship with someone she loves.
“Sadly, she thought she had that with Ashton, until he betrayed her trust. Once that happened, it was really impossible for them to get back on track.”
MONEY WOES: Despite all the talk about the proposed “Gotti” flick, starring John Travolta, the reality of the movie being made anytime soon is rapidly evaporating.
On top of Travolta reportedly demanding a healthy eight-figure paycheck — plus a lot of additional perks regarding his on-set staffing and housing — it seems original producer Marco Fiori is hitting roadblocks in securing over-all financing.
† There are rumors of major bickering among the production team and constant nitpicking by the Gotti family, who have been deeply involved in the project since day one.
† Though script changes have thrown a lot of issues up in the air, one version of the screenplay indicated the movie — focusing on the criminal and personal lives of “dapper don” mob boss John Gotti — would do some filming in our area.
ROYAL RUMBLINGS: Pippa Middleton is quickly cashing in on big sister Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s entry into the British royal family. And according to a good palace source, that isn’t going down so well with some of the senior royals, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Part of their concern is Pippa’s claim that she wants to become “the British Martha Stewart” — something she’s kicking off with the announcement of her $650,000 book deal to pen a guide on party giving and entertaining.
That topic should be a natural for the younger Middleton sister, considering that she is a principal in her family’s hugely successful online party supply biz. However, I am hearing some royal family folks consider it an example of how Middleton is taking advantage of her new, high-profile position.
† Meanwhile, there are rumors Middleton may be reconnecting romantically with old beau George Percy, now that she has split with financier Alex Loudon. Though that affair supposedly ended somewhat bitterly, Middleton has remained quite chummy with Percy.
† On the other hand, due to Loudon’s breakup with Prince William’s sister-in-law, a chill has hit the longtime friendship between those two men, buddies since their years at Eton.
BABY BEAT: Motherhood clearly agrees with Maggie Gyllenhaal. The actress and her actor husband Peter Sarsgaard revealed over Thanksgiving they are expecting their second child early in the new year. Gyllenhaal is said to be six months pregnant. The couple already are parents to daughter Ramona, 5.
LOCAL LIGHTS: Two stars with Chicago roots have new acting gigs. Common will co-star with “The Shield” actors Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker in “Pawn,” a crime film about a hostage situation that goes very wrong.
† Virginia Madsen will play a police chief in “Hornet’s Nest,” a TNT movie about a serial killer — based on the Patricia Cornwall novel.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Eric Ferguson, the Mix’s popular morning man, and wife Jen were spied by a slew of “Eric & Kathy” fans, dining at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie the other night.
Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker reports regularly on “Good Day Chicago” and “Fox Chicago News at 9” on WFLD-Channel 32.