Michael H. Hodges
The Detroit News

Just kidding!

It looks like June's much-hyped breakup between Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart was just that — hype. TMZ cites sources saying the so-called split was engineered so studio muckety-mucks could manufacture a convincing rumor to boost ticket sales that J-Lo, 45, was falling for her much-younger "Boy Next Door" co-star Ryan Guzman, 27. Evidence cited suggesting Smart, also 27, and Lopez never burned any bridges is the fact that last month — once "Boy Next Door" was released — they were spotted enjoying a romantic dinner after a GQ event, and dancing together days later at a Big Sean show.

De Matteo demolished

Drea De Matteo, 45, is now officially homeless, according to Page Six. Her New York apartment was one of the casualties of Thursday's massive gas explosion and fire in the East Village that destroyed several buildings. DeMatteo, who played Michael Imperioli's girlfriend Adriana on "The Sopranos" and Angie Bolen on "Desperate Housewives," posted a picture of her building engulfed in smoke on Instagram with the note, "A hole where my N.Y.C. home of 22 years once stood. RIP 123 2nd Avenue."

Math anxiety

What parent hasn't been stumped trying to help an offspring with math homework? So instead of winging it, super-mom Britney Spears, 33, is taking math courses so she can help sons Sean Preston, 9, and Jayden James, 8, with their homework. "They go to a really hard school," Spears told People, "and this week we had three hours of homework [a night]. Next year when [Preston's] in fifth grade, he's going to be doing pre-algebra, and I'm taking classes so I know how to do it!"

More Almódovar

Spain's bad-boy filmmaker, Pedro Almódovar, 65, will start filming his 20th feature, "Silencio," in May, which will star Spanish actresses Emma Suárez, 50, and Adriana Ugarte, 30. Almódovar, who's made a career of getting deep inside women's heads, says this film won't veer far from that obsession. "Silencio," he told the Madrid daily "El País," will constitute a "drama of the female universe." The story follows one woman, played by both actresses, from 1985 to the present as she struggles "to survive on the verge of madness."

Today's birthdays

Derek Carr, 24

Lady Gaga, 29

Reba McEntire, 60