Hollywood actor Benjamin Bratt has opted to be more discrete when he shops for personal items, after an embarrassing trip to pick up an early pregnancy test.

The ex-boyfriend of Julia Roberts, now married to Talisa Soto, says he and his wife decided to pick up the kit after suspecting they may be expectant parents - but the initially private trip quickly escalated into a public spectacle.

He explains, "It was like a scene out of a bad movie! I put the baseball hat on, I waited till about 11 o'clock. I walked in New York to a different neighbourhood, because these are sensitive issues and you don't wanna be busted in the store.

"So I get there, I grab the little cart and I'm walking up and down the aisles looking for the early pregnancy test (EPT). But meanwhile I'm grabbing ridiculous things I don't need - silly string, a deck of cards and razors and shaving cream.

"Finally, I get the EPT, I put it in my basket, I've got a stack of stuff in there and luckily the store seems fairly empty. I get up to the front desk, there's no one there. I think, 'Oh, I'm in good luck here!'

"(The cashier) starts unloading the cart. She's scanning things and about halfway through the basket, you hear this beep. She said, 'This thing ain't scanning.' Meanwhile there's about five or six people behind me and she says, 'I need a price check on this early pregnancy test please!'

"Flop sweat starts, I hear the guy behind me saying, 'Hey, isn't that that actor?' Literally, it took about three or four minutes for that price check to come through and I was melted by the time it came. Bad!"

21/07/2004 03:00