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Douglas, Zeta-Jones Set Record Straight on Wedding

Bob Tourtellotte

BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) - Brimming with newlywed smiles, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones sat down with reporters on Sunday to set the record straight on details of their celebrity-filled wedding two weeks ago.

The couple, who exchanged vows at New York's Plaza Hotel in a Nov. 18 ceremony that cost a reported $1.5 -- $2 million, have been curled up inside their Manhattan apartment since then, spending time alone and with their four-month-old son, Dylan, said the Welsh-born actress.

Douglas said the decision to bar all but one press photographer was ``the best way to control the media blitz,'' and asking guests to donate money to a trust in the name of their son was done so that later in life, Dylan could ``learn the joy of giving.''

But Zeta-Jones wouldn't confirm the wedding's cost, saying her husband refused to tell her, and she added that she had not yet received the bill for her reported $250,000 Christian Lacroix gown, so she didn't know the exact cost.

``It doesn't get any better than this; 2000 is not going to be a year that's forgotten,'' said Douglas, who is being talked about around Hollywood as a best actor Oscar nominee this year for ``Wonder Boys'' or the upcoming ``Traffic.''

Zeta-Jones, who also stars in ``Traffic'' -- about drug use in the United States and drug trafficking -- echoed her new husband's sentiment.

``What a year,'' she said. ``I'll double up on what my husband says; it doesn't get better than this.''

Zeta-Jones said she is still unaccustomed to using the word, ``husband,'' but quickly added, ``I love it, though. I love it when (other people) say it to me. People call me Mrs. Douglas at the gate to our apartment. It kind of makes my eyes sparkle.''


The couple began dating in 1999 and Douglas proposed on New Year's Eve as the new millennium was beginning. Then, they learned she was pregnant, and in August came their baby boy.

Now, they are in Los Angeles promoting ``Traffic.''

Their relationship has made tabloid fodder in the United States and across Europe because of their ages (he's 56, she's 31), his Hollywood lineage (TV star, film star, Oscar winner and son of actor Kirk Douglas) and her relatively recent rise into the limelight after 1998's ``The Mask of Zorro'' from middle-class roots in Swansea, Wales.

In fact, Zeta-Jones is rather miffed by recent media reports characterizing her as coming from a poor family that could barely afford to put shoes on her feet.

``Now what they are doing is showing photographs of my parents' house, and they always say: 'humble beginnings.' My parents worked really hard to have that house. It's a really nice house in a great neighborhood,'' she said.

She and Douglas agreed that all 115 family members and around 200 guests had a great time at the wedding. People were dancing in the aisles and between banquet tables, and they were singing around the piano until 5 a.m.

Douglas boasted that the Plaza Hotel manager called him the next day and told him it was the longest wedding the hotel had ever had.

Celebrities at the event included Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Russell Crowe, Goldie Hawn, Martha Stewart and Art Garfunkel.

The actor said one of his most memorable moments was ``the first moment I caught Catherine's eye when she came walking down the aisle.''

At the first sight of her new husband, Zeta-Jones said she was so happy, ``I didn't know whether to burst out laughing or burst out crying.''

And when asked if it would be difficult to steer clear of all those Hollywood stars she'll be kissing in upcoming movies, she quickly replied, ``I have my leading man.''

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Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited. Click for Restrictions.

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