Jackson Lee / Splash News 1 / 7
Jackson Lee / Splash News 1 / 7

Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler have become chummy enough while shooting "The Bounty" that she doesn't mind if he uses her backside as a hand rest. But did the co-stars, who have repeatedly denied hookup rumors, take the touchy-feeliness to demonstrative new heights over dinner Wednesday night in Los Angeles?

So claims X17, which says the pair "snuck into" the Cliff's Edge restaurant around 9:30 p.m. and proceeded to nosh and nuzzle in a dimly lit part of the eatery.

"They appeared incredibly affectionate with one another. They were kissing, hugging and leaning in to talk to each other for over two hours!" alleges a spy. "They definitely looked like a couple."

Or did they? Another version of events has emerged, "Rashomon"-style, and this one has a lot less PDA and a lot more dinner guests.

Radar Online reports Jen, 40, and Gerard, 39, were joined by a quartet of friends at a table on an outdoor patio, where a big-eared bystander heard them talking about the paparazzi contingent lying in wait outside.

"They enjoyed a friendly dinner with each other," notes the restaurant's manager. "Jennifer is so lovely, and she and Gerard were not holding hands and I didn't think they were a couple, just friends having dinner together."

At the end of the night, the actress and the burly Scottish star exited separately, with the former hopping into an SUV with her bodyguard (another sign that this might not have been a hot date, because who wants a beefy minder tagging along?) and the latter zooming off in his Mercedes.

Aniston, who is currently out stumping for her forthcoming romcom, the unimaginatively titled "Love Happens," reportedly headed home, and, much to the disappointment of the shutterbugs, Butler didn't follow.

Jennifer's rep did not respond to our request for comment on the PDA whispers.

This latest outing comes several weeks after Jen and Gerard were supposedly spotted "hand-in-hand" while hanging out at a New York hot spot, a snuggly sighting her spokesman dismissed as fiction.

"Jennifer was out with many others from the film, and they were not holding hands," the mouthpiece told People magazine. "Gerry was one of many from the film there."

A few days before, a spy told Radar that the stars had been acting "lovey-dovey" on set, sharing a "little kiss" and making a surreptitious attempt to touch digits.

"We watched them at one point start to hold hands," maintained the eyewitness, "but she pulled back because she realized people were watching."

But Butler, who last year cheekily responded to rumors that he was dating Cameron Diaz by saying, "If I take my dog for a walk, apparently I'm [bleeping] my dog," insists that he'd be the first to spill if he was dating Aniston.

"If I was," the actor said last month, "I would say I was."

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