GAY SCANDAL ROCKS O.C. STAR

Published on: February 15, 2005

Nicholas Gonzalez has shot to stardom on "The O.C.," but a gay scandal is threatening his blossoming career! A gay Web site has posted shocking nude photos that the site claims depict Gonzalez, who plays sexy gardener D.J. on the hit show.

FACE LIFT

And while the face of the model in the photos is unquestionably Gonzalez's, it's uncertain if the nude body below belongs to him - or if someone has deftly affixed a photo of his face to another man's body. Either way, the 29-year-old actor "is panicked that a gay scandal will ruin his career," a friend told The ENQUIRER. "He has scratched and clawed his way up the Hollywood food chain and he doesn't want it all to come crashing down now. "Getting the role of D.J. on one of the hottest shows on television is the chance of a lifetime. Doors are finally starting to open for Nicholas and he is praying that these photos don't slam them right back in his face. "It's said that a famous photographer took these pictures when Gonzalez was a struggling actor just trying to break into the business. "The photos have hit numerous gay sites and are being seen by millions. "The gay community has gone wild over Nicholas. Gay chat rooms are abuzz with talk about is he gay or isn't he. He has become a poster boy for gay fans of ?The O.C.' "Nicholas has his sights set on being one of Hollywood's favorite leading men and needs to get past this stumbling block if that is going to happen."

ROLE PLAYING

This isn't the first time Nicholas - who reportedly used to date "Desperate Housewives" sexpot Eva Longoria - has fought gay rumors. One of his first jobs was playing a gay yuppie on the MTV show "Undressed." "After that he had to convince the powers that be in Hollywood that he could play straight roles," the friend added. "He can't believe he's going to have to do it all over again."