Katie Holmes dropped out of attending a New York City fashion gala at the last minute on Monday night (02MAY05) because she didn't want to be the focus of attention following the revelation she is dating Tom Cruise.

The Wonder Boys beauty was due to sit at designer Carolina Herrera's table at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art's Costume Institute Gala, but wanted some time out of the limelight after being overwhelmed by the level of recent attention.

Cruise's sister and publicist LEE ANNE DEVETTE confirmed the rumours of a romance were true after the couple were spotted together in Italy last week (ends29APR05).

Holmes' spokesperson tells the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, "Katie loves Mrs Herrera. But after returning from abroad, she was extremely overwhelmed with what is happening in her life right now."

Organisers were relieved the 26-year-old stayed away because Cruise's ex-wife Nicole Kidman was acting as co-chairwoman of the CHANEL exhibit.

04/05/2005 17:26