Penelope Cruz can't seem to escape from the clutches of the rumor mill. Just weeks after the actress shot down persistent whispers of a Javier Bardem-spawned bun in her oven, there's a new round of speculation that an aisle-walk could be in the works.
A chatty pal of the privacy-guarding Spanish squeezes of two-plus years tells the New York Daily News that they're planning to get hitched, although specifics are decidedly sketchy.
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"They're telling friends they will get married," the insider tattles to the paper, which adds that the engagement rumblings that surfaced earlier this year were a bit premature.
Seconds a snitch to Us, "They tried to keep it very private and quiet."
As usual, reps for Cruz, 35, and Bardem, 40, remain tight-lipped on personal matters.
Last month, Penelope finally got fed up with the stork chatter that had been bubbling since the Cannes Film Festival in May, chatter that she seemed to help along by developing a sudden fondness for baggy shirts and stomach-draping dresses.
"I start getting some presents from friends saying, 'Congratulations, you're pregnant,'" she exasperatedly told USA Today. "And I say, 'No, I'm not, so return the presents.' It's amazing."
It was an unusual moment of candor for Cruz, who reiterated the knocked-up denial during her sit-down with the November issue of Vanity Fair, but in what was described as a "a rather baroque, roundabout way."
In the mag, the Oscar-winning looker also tiptoed around the subject of Bardem, whom she met on the steamy set of 1992's "Jamón, jamón" and fell for while shooting the Woody Allen-directed flick, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
Her biggest reveal: The actor is a better air guitarist than she is, a skill he showed off when they attended a U2 concert in Paris over the summer.
"He's a wonderful man," Penelope has said of Javier, "a great actor."
As for tying the knot, she seemed indifferent to the idea last year, admitting, "I don't know if I believe in marriage. I believe in family, love and children. It depends on the situation, but nowadays I am not sure what marriage is for."
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