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Rihanna flirting with Chris Brown, and ‘she wants him back’


Updated: July 13, 2012 6:22AM

Among the many complicated celebrity relationships, you’ve got to rank the one between Rihanna and Chris Brown as one of the more intriguing.

While both music superstars continue to insist their recent teaming up — to record a couple of tracks — was strictly a “professional” one, two sources close to Rihanna say there’s a lot more there, and romance underlies the whole thing.

The couple’s obvious coy flirting in a New York nightclub last weekend was only the latest example of what one source calls “Rihanna’s little gamesmanship. … She’s always playing games, but basically she wants him back in her life — and not just to record a few tracks.”

According to the second source, “Rihanna truly believes Chris has learned his lesson [from his well-known abuse conviction for beating Rihanna in 2009] and knows he’s still very much in love with her.”

While both Rihanna and Brown have been very publicly dating others, my first Rihanna pal scoffed about that. “They still feel very strongly for each other. … You just wait. They will be back together — and I’m betting sooner rather than later.”

ROYAL RIPPLES: A ccording to veteran British writer and royal watcher Andrew Morton — who famously penned Diana: Her True Story with the secret cooperation of Princess Diana — Prince Charles’ wife Camilla is using her friendship with new daughter-in-law Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, to pave the way for her to become queen when Charles succeeds his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

According to a piece Morton wrote for the Celebuzz website, Camilla, now the Duchess of Cornwall, hopes her schmoozing of Catherine and her husband Prince William will make it possible to set aside the agreement made when Camilla and Charles wed in 2005. That promise was that Camilla would never have the title of queen and instead be known as “princess consort.” Morton now says that won’t happen, and a Queen Camilla will be proclaimed along with the future King Charles III.

IT’S ONLY A MOVIE! Steve Carell joked with me about his upcoming “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” film, also starring Keira Knightley. In an early scene, Carell’s real-life wife, actress Nancy Carell, plays his onscreen spouse who literally jumps out of their car and runs away — after hearing the news the world is going to be destroyed by an Earth-shattering asteroid.

“The symbolism of that scene wasn’t really great,” Carell told me last weekend. “After all, that scene was shot on our


FILLED WITH PRIDE: Part of the Gay Pride festivities this year will be a 9 a.m. to noon brunch June 24 featuring an appearance by ex-British pro rugby champion Ben Cohen. Though straight, Cohen’s become a huge gay icon in Britain, in part due to his Standup Foundation’s programs fighting bullying and homophobia — which will benefit from the W Chicago Lakeshore event.

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Local trial lawyer Barry Montgomery and real estate developer Jerry Lasky celebrated the Houston Astros’ 50th anniversary by dining at Gibsons with team owner Jim Crane . … Owner Billy Dec lunched with “30 Rock” mainstay Jack McBrayer at Rockit Bar & Grill, while U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts hosted a get-together with a group of disabled vets at Rockit Burger Bar in Wrigleyville.

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