February 26, 2007
Upon meeting Abbie Cornish in the flesh, you can see why Hollywood star Ryan Phillippe might have had his head turned by the pretty 24-year-old with the upturned nose.
On Thursday night Cornish, in her capacity as ambassador of the non-profit animal protection organisation Voiceless, made a rare appearance in Sydney to support her cause, putting aside the rumours that have hounded her since she was named as the other woman in the break-up of Reese Witherspoon and husband Phillippe.
If indeed she played a role in the break-up, the affair looks to have petered out, with Cornish now back home in Australia for an extended six-month stay and on the arm of a mystery man introduced only as "Chris" at the Voiceless event. He has been identified as an artist, and is clearly someone with whom she feels very comfortable.
The pair separated under the watchful eye of paparazzi photographers on Thursday night but, once the media pack had departed, were seated together for their vegan meal.
Otto Ristorante proprietor Leon Fink offered his establishment free of charge to the cause, and more than 100 arts lovers and animal lovers opposed to factory farming dined on eggplant ravioli with spiced okra and gelatine-free sweets.
Hugo Weaving and his partner Katrina Greenwood also attended the dinner, Weaving noticeably attentive to his long-term partner and the mother of his two children, resting a hand on her lap during the dinner.
Cornish, the star of Candy, last week managed to slip in an audition for a mystery film project but will later this year hit the promotional trail for two yet-to-be-released film projects.