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Local digs for TomKat? Maybe not

Local-digs-for-TomKat-Maybe-not

Talk about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise buying a house in Ottawa Hills centers on this 23-room mansion on Ridgewood Road.

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So by now you've probably heard that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are buying a home in Ottawa Hills.

Pretty cool, huh?

Except .●.●.● those who should be in the know say it's not true.

Let's start with Katie's dad, Marty: "I can say that I have absolutely no knowledge of that, and I don't think that's true," he told The Blade.

A spokesman for Cruise was emphatic. "I can tell you that it's not true," she said.

So how does a story like this - reported on local television and radio and in national media like the Washington Times - get started?

"I guess people want them in the neighborhood," said Cruise's spokesman in California, who added that US Weekly magazine also had called inquiring about the reports.

In case you've been too absorbed in Nick and Jessica's saga to spare brain cells for TomKat news, here's the scuttlebutt:

For weeks, even months, the buzz around Ottawa Hills has been that the celebrity couple was buying a house there, specifically the 23-room mansion at 3574 Ridgewood Rd. It's a beautiful Georgian Colonial dating back to 1917 with nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a nearly $1.5 million asking price.

Many local residents talk as if it's a done deal. There have been variations on the story that get incredibly specific, including that the couple sought permission to put in a security fence.

The speculation is the pair would want a home close to Katie's parents. The starlet, 26, a Notre Dame Academy graduate, is expecting her first child. She has been engaged to Cruise, 43, since June.

Marc Thompson, Ottawa Hills village administrator, has heard all the talk; it's even made its way to his son's high school Spanish class. But he said there's been no word - written, oral, or smoke signals - of any request for a fence or additional police protection, and he definitely hasn't met with Katie, as other talk implies.

Those involved in selling the house are tight-lipped.

Nancy Lohman, of RE/MAX Preferred Associates, who has gotten a "bazillion" calls on the matter, said the sale is to an out-of-town buyer.

"That's really all I know," she said.

"I just want it to close," she added, though the closing date set for Oct. 25 "keeps switching."

Homeowner Madonna Bruhl did not return calls yesterday seeking comment.

Figuring out what all this hubbub means remains a Mission: Impossible for area residents. Who knows, maybe Tom Cruise himself will arrive to help us out. Looks like we'll all know real soon.

Blade staff writer Mike Jones contributed to this report.

Contact Ryan E. Smith at:

ryansmith@theblade.com

or 419-724-6103.

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