Actor Michael Sheen is determined to maintain a close friendship with his former girlfriend Kate Beckinsale for the sake of their daughter.

The pair split after eight years together when Beckinsale fell in love with director Len Wiseman on the set of Underworld, which Sheen also starred in.

And although acclaimed thespian Sheen is happy to disassociate himself from the celebrity circles Beckinsale now moves in, he has moved to Santa Monica, California to stay close to their four-year-old daughter LILY.

He says, "Kate and I see each other all the time - our relationship together is important, not just for Lily but for us. I think Kate enjoys the Los Angeles lifestyle more than me, and it makes sense for her to be there because she's doing more and more film work.

"There is a lot of pressure to subscribe to the celebrity culture, all that stuff about who's the best-dressed and who's the worst-dressed in magazines is palpably light-hearted but if you don't go along with that, certain things won't be open to you.

"That's something Kate wants to do, but as a man it's easier for me to say I'm not so worried about it."

24/11/2003 17:21