June 18, 2006

Kidman flies into Sydney amid wedding speculation

By Michael Perry

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman
arrived in Sydney on Monday amid speculation she and fiance
country music star Keith Urban will marry next weekend in a
church near her family home.

Australian television showed Kidman leaving a private jet
in the early hours of Monday, while local media reported she
and Urban were tipped to tie the knot at a Catholic church in
Sydney at the weekend.

Kidman's publicist was not available for comment and there
were no reports on Urban's whereabouts.

The couple ended months of speculation last month when they
announced they were engaged. Kidman and Urban, both aged 38,
were brought up in Australia.

Local media, along with the Catholic Church's news Web site
www.catholic.org, have speculated that Kidman and Urban will
marry on Sunday, June 25.

"To be frank I do not know whether she has arrived. I knew
she was coming," said Sydney Jesuit Father Paul Coleman, a
long-time friend of the Kidman family.

Asked by Reuters whether he would be performing the wedding
and whether it would be this weekend, Coleman said: "Well at
the moment I hope that will be okay. I have no details yet. I
have to wait to be told. I am not allowed to say much."

Coleman is chaplain at Mary Mackillop Chapel in North
Sydney, a small church a short stroll to Sydney Harbor. Coleman
said his chapel had not been booked for a wedding this weekend,
but added that it may be too small depending on the number of

The Kidman family lives a few suburbs north of the chapel,
and the parish is where Nicole and her sister went to school.

In January, Kidman mentioned the chapel as a possible
wedding venue, said the Catholic News Service, adding Kidman,
accompanied by her parents, Anthony and Janelle, attended Good
Friday and Easter Sunday services there this year.

The other possible venue could be the much larger and more
private St Patrick's Catholic church overlooking Sydney's Manly
Beach, reported Australian Associated Press.

Kidman, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations
Development Fund for Women, ended her 10-year marriage to Tom
Cruise in 2001. The couple have two adopted children.

Kidman and Urban met in January 2005 at an awards dinner
held by the Australian government in Los Angeles honoring the
two of them.

Kidman, who won an Academy Award for her role in the 2002
film "The Hours," was born in Hawaii but brought up in

Urban, a singer and guitarist, was born in New Zealand and
grew up in Australia. He won a Grammy in 2005 for best male
country vocal performance on the song "You'll Think of Me."

During her marriage to Cruise, Kidman was introduced to
scientology. But Father Coleman, who advised on Kidman's
marriage annulment, said the upcoming marriage to Urban showed
that scientology had not undermined her Catholic faith.

"For Nicole, you know this is a spiritual homecoming,
coming back to the church and her faith in her old parish,"
Coleman told Catholic News Service earlier this month.

The lack of a confirmation has not stopped a frenzy in the
Australian media, with weekend newspapers reporting that guests
had been sworn to secrecy and speculating on what kind of gown
Kidman would wear.

The Sun-Herald newspaper said guests would go into a
"lockdown" in a luxurious Sydney hotel from Friday.

Guests will reportedly include fellow stars Naomi Watts,
Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, director Baz Luhrmann, and News
Corp. Ltd. boss Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng.