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My bad men; Cameron Diaz tells of all the lovers who broke her heart.

Byline: DREW MACKENZIE in New York

CAMERON Diaz can have any man she wants in the new comedy The Sweetest Thing - just by flashing her sweet smile.

And her legion of male admirers would think that it's probably the same in real life. But Cameron insisted that this has not always been the case.

She even claimed that, like many girls, she's been crushed by men she's loved who have heartlessly dumped her. And that may be part of the reason she's still not married even though she turns 30 this year.

The beautiful blonde said: "There are boys that I haven't gotten over the years. There are ones who have got away.

"And certainly there are ones who have broken my heart. But, I believe, in the end it's all about the tally."

The tally, of course, is whether the joy from her relationships is greater than the pain she has suffered from the break-ups. Right now, she believes that she is still ahead in the numbers.

Seven years ago, she was devastated when dashing video producer Carlos de la Torre broke off their five-year relationship and moved out of their Los Angeles apartment.

The former model from California had just shot to fame overnight with The Mask, and Carlos could not bare to live in her shadow.

Then she suffered through a humiliating romance with brooding actor Matt Dillon, her co-star in the blockbuster film There's Something About Mary.

The former Brat Packer, who has quietly notched up the longest list of conquests in Hollywood since Errol Flynn's heyday, constantly cheated on Diaz during their three-year romance until she could take it no more.

Still, on the plus side of the "tally", she is now living with actor Jared Leto, who plays the swarthy villain in the hit Jodie Foster film Panic Room.

However, although they have been together for three years, she has no plans to get married.

Cameron, who played a beautiful bride in My Best Friend's Wedding, said: "I don't think it is necessary to walk down an aisle in a white dress to maintain a relationship.

"It's great to have a partner, but I don't see how a piece of paper means anything at all. I wouldn't be unfulfilled if I didn't marry."

And she has no plans to wed just for the sake of having a ring on her finger - even if she became pregnant.

Cameron said: "There's a line in The Sweetest Thing when I say to a bride, 'Everything is going to work out and if it doesn't you can get divorced'. That's some people's mentality today. Not mine!

"We all believe we're going to do it like our parents did it. My parents found each other early and they are still together. The world is a different place now. This is my experience and I'll find my own way."

The 5ft 9in actress, who was Tom Cruise's psychotic bedmate in Vanilla Sky, is reluctant to talk about her current love in fear that she may jinx the relationship.

In fact, the most she can muster about him is: "He is so nice."

ALTHOUGH marriage is entirely out of the question, she loves Jared enough to have taken a year off work to spend time with him.

After being on location making three films in a row, Cameron said: "I wanted to spend more time with my loved ones. I just made the decision to give myself more space so I could have what I needed to fulfil me at that moment.

"When you look at your life, you don't want to take anyone or anything for granted. If you're just working, working, working, and you're not getting anything else back, then it's not fulfiling."

The problems with having a long-term boyfriend, she reluctantly admits, is that she sorely misses the chase.She said: "I like where you're connecting with a person you really want to connect with. That's the best.

"The secret to being an effective flirt is trying to be charming. I always try to make a man laugh and usually by making fun of myself."

SHE'S more than willing to do it on screen, too, as was clear with the hair gel scene in There's Something About Mary and wild dance routine in the blockbuster Charlie's Angels.

And in The Sweetest Thing, co-starring Christina Applegate and Selma Blair, she has a steamy fantasy part with the man of her dreams that combines a sex scene and hot fudge sundaes.

She said: "You cannot embarrass me. It is impossible. I've been like this my whole life. I don't believe you should make fun of anyone but yourself. So since I'm willing to laugh at myself. I'm willing to do anything for a laugh."

In the $42million film due out later this year, she plays fun-loving Christina Walters who is afraid to commit to one man, and spends her night picking guys up at clubs and then dumping them.

Although she's not looking for a boyfriend, the perfect man played by handsome blonde newcomer Thomas Jane accidentally falls into her lap.

Cameron has an even bigger film coming out this summer, Martin Scorcese's 160-minute epic Gang Of New York, with Leo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis.

Set in the early 20th century, she plays a cynical prostitute caught up in what she calls a "love square".

Although Julia Roberts is still the queen of Hollywood, Cameron is practically stepping on her train. She was paid $15million to be a sweet thing and now she has joined Roberts in the elite $20million club with her salary for Charlie's Angel 2.

She's even getting $10million for another picture - and moviegoers won't even have the pleasure of seeing the blue-eyed beauty.

Cameron's big pay day comes as the voice of the princess in Shrek 2 - a massive jump from the $1.5million she got for the first film .

But Cameron won't be doing anything until next month when her year off comes to an end.

She said: "It's been so nice. It's such a luxury. How many people can say, 'I'm not working for a year'."

...and still be worth millions.

CAPTION(S):

GOING WITH A SWING: Cameron's happy now after being unlucky in love; PAST AND PRESENT: Cameron with Matt Dillon, above, and hugging boyfriend Jared Leto, right; SWEETEST THINGS: Selma, Christina and Cameron
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 8, 2002
Words:1061
Previous Article:Drunk dad beat up his 10-yr-old son putting him in hospital for 3 days because he wanted to see cartoons on television.
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