Woman's Day (Aus), August 5, 1996

Crystal 'Nurses' Superstar Keanu

She's nursing a broken heart, he's nursing a broken leg - the sexy Aussie and the screen hunk make a cosy pair.

by Drew MacKenzie

Stunning Aussie actress Crystal Atkins is nursing movie hunk Keanu Reeves back to health after he was injured in a shattering motorbike crash.

And Keanu is helping the brunette beauty mend her broken heart after her devastating bust-up with actor Julian McMahon, who cheated on her.

Speed star Keanu, who is rumoured to be looking at real estate in Byron Bay, broke his leg when he was out for a spin on his motorcycle in Los Angeles and was hit by a car.

"I was very upset when I heard he'd been hurt," cries sultry Crystal, 19, in an exclusive interview. "After he was discharged from hospital with a cast on his leg, I rushed over to the Chateau Marmont Hotel, where he lives, and brought him a big bunch of flowers.

"Apart from being in a lot of pain, he was very sad and depressed about the accident. He just loves riding his bike. I think I was able to make him feel better quickly just by being a loving friend.

"Since the accident, I have been over there as often as I can to care for him.

"He gets around on crutches and he's really good with them, but he still needs some help from me and others.

"I've been helping nurse Keanu and he's been wonderful for me. It's nice to have a close friend to rely on in this crazy town, especially when things get tough."

Crystal, who is currently filrning Extortion with Jamie Lee Curtis's sister Allegra, fiercely maintains that she and Keanu are "just good friends". But she admits she's captivated by his looks.

"He's really sexy and handsorne. He has an elegant appeal. And I love his eyes - they're almond-shaped - and his hair is dark and gorgeous.

"He cut it recently in a Mohican style, but he told me he's letting it grow back.

"He's a beautiful person, inside and out. We're pretty much alike in many ways, into the same things. He's very down to earth and not affected by his fame or movie star power. He's gracious and kind, friendly and low key, and he likes pleasing people with his work."

Crystal and Keanu have been seen together at clubs and chic parties in Tinseltown, sparking rumours they've been dating since her split with Julian.

But Crystal says: "Although I'm attracted to Keanu, it's better that we have a platonic friendship. That way we can stay friends for a long time.

"I don't want to be in love with someone again right now because I'm busy devoting myself to my career."

Our exclusive pictures of the couple talking intimately at a party before Keanu's accident could fuel the gossip. But Crystal laughs and says it's all very innocent.

"We were talking about swimming in the backyard pool at the party. But I didn't have a swimsuit, so I was going to borrow someone's shorts and T-shirt.

"We wanted to have the whole pool to ourselves because there were people there Keanu didn't know.

"They might have got the wrong idea if we had climbed into the pool together and started playing around.

"So we were busy plotting how to get rid of everyone. But in the end they didn't go and so we never got to swim."

Crystal and Keanu met 18 months ago at the home of a soapie actor friend who plays in Keanu's band, Dogstar. They hit it off right away and she's become a regular backstage visitor when his group plays in LA.

"He could tell I loved his music and what he's doing. It's rock'n'roll, and they are such pretty songs.

"The fact that we have similar interests brought us close together. Although he's busy, when he gets a chance he'll call me to chat, but not about his career. He hears about that all day.

"We talk about everyday type of things.

"Sometimes we'll meet at a coffee shop or a restaurant. I also go over to his suite at the Chateau Marmont and we sit around, talking or listening to music.

"He uses the hotel as his home, but he'll bunk the night at friends' houses. He'll just throw a mattress on the floor and go to sleep. He's not pretentious. He doesn't need all the trappings of wealth that many famous people do."

Keanu, 31, whose father Sam is serving 10 years in jail on drag charges, has always been considered a wild party animal, but friends are worried he's now on a course of self-destruction.

He's turned down $11 million to star in the Speed sequel, packed on more than 13kg, cut his hair in a Mohican style - and was driving his Norton motorbike at breakneck speeds.

But Crystal says: "Don't worry, he's just fine. He's content with who and what he is. He doesn't need lots of friends around. He's happy just to be by himself. He'll be back before you know it."

Perth-born Crystal maintains she was just "good friends" with heart-throb Julian, who's to star in the TV action thriller series Profiler. But their nine-month "friendship" ended last month after a series of domestic explosions.

She recently stormed out of a party when she caught him in the arms of an older woman - and then she saw Woman's Day in LA and was shocked to see pictures of him cosying up to Who Dares Wins host Tania Zaetta while visiting his family in Australia.

"Julian and Tania look very happy together," Crystal says.

"It looks as if he might have fallen in love with her. I'm happy for him.

"I hope we can stay friends and I wish him all the best for his new TV show."


Speed , Dogstar , Reeves Family , Speed 2

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