JILTED JULIA RUNS BACK TO LYLE

Published on: July 17, 2001

JILTED Julia Roberts is easing the pain of her split with Benjamin Bratt by rushing to the side of ex-hubby Lyle Lovett -- and the country crooner's girlfriend is terrified of losing him, insiders reveal.

Julia rushed to Lyle's side days after she was dumped, setting off alarm bells with his longtime girlfriend.

"Lyle and Julia have remained friends since their marriage ended in the mid-'90s," said a source close to the singer. "He truly loved the woman and their breakup was a bitter blow for him.

"He still has a soft spot in his heart for her, but he moved on and started dating April Kimble, who was his personal assistant.

"April is devoted to him and everyone in Lyle's family was hoping he would marry her. Well, everything seemed like it was going that way until Benjamin dumped Julia.

"Lyle has always been there for her when she needed to talk, and many nights she would call him and talk on and on. He's always been her confidant -- someone she could tell her deepest secrets to and get sound, honest advice.

"April wasn't upset that Lyle talked with his ex-wife. In fact, she became close to Julia, too.

"So nothing seemed out of the ordinary when she started calling Lyle and April crying on their shoulders about Ben ditching her.

"They were both very sympathetic and even invited her to spend time with them in Nashville and Las Vegas."

Julia was in Nashville with Lyle from June 25 to June 27, and in Las Vegas with Lyle and April from June 29 to July 1.



FAST FACT!
Julia Roberts turned down the female lead in the 1998 film "Shakespeare in Love."


"Lyle said they had a good time," the source confided. "But after awhile, some tension developed between the two women.

"April didn't like the way Julia looked at Lyle. There was that old love deep down inside of him -- and Julia was fanning the flames.

"It made April furious, but she didn't make a scene. She often just disappeared to sulk over Julia's hold on her man.

"Lyle knew that April was worried he was falling for Julia again. Lyle was honest with April by telling her that he has strong feelings for Julia, but he assured her that the relationship is long over.

"But nobody who knows Lyle will bet that Julia is out of his life for good. She has a very deep emotional hold on him that hasn't been totally broken in the years since their marriage ended.

"For Lyle, Julia may remain the love of his life no matter how hard he tries to move on."