"My Marriage is fine," says Julian McMahon. So why is he kissing Shannen Doherty?
Julian falls for Shannen's Charms.
Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble....Julian McMahon has landed in hot water, and it's going to take a lot more than Aussie charm to get out of this one.
The twice-married Australian turns 33 this week, but he won't be celebrating with estranged wife, Baywatch actress Brooke Burns. Her blood's boiling after a work-related junket turned into a romantic romp for Julian and his witchy Charmed co-star Shannen Doherty, 29.
Despite living in separate LA homes for months, Julian recently confided to Woman's Day that he'd reconciled with his 23-year-old wife, who's staying 15 minutes away from their marital home.
"We're back together again and everything is dandy,", he claimed, publicly acknowledging, for the first time, that there had been problesm in his second marriage.
While he refused to elaborate on what went wrong, Julian said he was happy his two-year marriage was back on track. Friends say that, this time, Julian was anxious to patch up his relationship with Texas-born Brooke and give one-year old daughter, Madison Elizabeth, a traditional home life.
But Julian's idea of a loving union seems less than conventional. Just the day before our interview, the son of a former prime minister, the late Sir William McMahon, and socialite Lady McMahon, was snapped frolicking in the Caribbean surf with his co-star!
Our exclusive pics show the couple are definitely more that close friends, as Shannen openly kissed and caressed a sun-baking Julian, during a junket to a St Barts resort to promote their new TV movie, Another Day, co-produced by Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola. Perhaps it's no coincidence the co-star couple play lovers in the supernatural drama.
So, what's really going on?
Hollywood insiders say Brooke was heartbroken when her fairytale marriage disintegrated in February, after rumours Julian was under the spell of his Charmed TV lover, Alyssa Milano.
"Brooke planned to spend the rest of her life with the man of her dreams, but now it's on the rocks, and she finds herself alone with a baby," explains a friend of Brooke. "She's shattered."
Friends suggest the split may have resulted from the couple's frantic work commitments, and Brooke's desire to be a working mum. She flew to Honolulu to finish on Baywatch Hawaii not long after giving birth, while Julian stayed in LA.
"Julian's a modern guy, but he's kind of old-fashioned in that he feels the man of the house should be the breadwinner,"explains a friend.
"It's the way he was brought up."
Julian admits, "I think Brooke's priority is as a wife and a mother, without doubt. But there's a part of her that's very ambitious and determined. There are no hard and fast rules. It's entirely up to her to do what she needs to fulfil herself."
Julian's non-stop schedule as the mysterious lawyer-cum-demon Cole Hayden on the hit series added pressure to the marriage.
It also meant the ex-Profiler star hadn't a chance to return home to Australia since his surprise marriage to Brooke at Sonia mcMahon's East Sydney home in December 1999.
Instead, Julian's mum recently flew to California to spend time with her son and meet her granddaughter for the first time.
Julian's first marriage to singer Dannii Minogue was also cursed, falling apart within 18 months because they spent so much time apart with work.
In spite of the revealing photos with Shannen and the fact that he and Brooke live in separate homes, Julian still won't admit they are estranged.
"Everything's pretty good now. I just had a break for a month, which was needed, because I've been working for two-and-a-half years straight. I needed a little time off," he said, straight-faced.
After St Barts, Julian and Shannen retired to the LA house he once shared with Brooke. He later drove Shannen home in her BMW then spent much of the weekend with Madison, while Brooke went to the movies, dinner and shopping with friends.
Although he doesn't live with his little girl, the doting dad often takes her on day visits and gives Brooke a much-needed break.
A source says, "Julian kissed Brooke as he dropped off Madison, but they were fairly cool. I think he realises he has to confess about Shannen."
Like Julian's, Shannen's lovelife has been rocky. She's had three broken engagements, a brief marriage to drug-addicted Ashley Hamilton, and undergone a court-ordered anger management course. Just recently, she was charged with drink driving and reportedly forced to leave Charmed after a dispute with co-star Alyssa and producer Aaron Spelling.
Not surprisingly, Julian's quick to defend his gal, saying, "I've worked with Shannen...she's nothing but a real sweetheart, a pleasure to work with."
Similarly, about working with him, Shannen's gushed, "I adore Julian."