EXCLUSIVE: Did Lily James bend Tier Two rules? Actress and long-time pal Dominic Cooper giggle during boozy business dinner inside a restaurant in her first public outing since Dominic West scandal
- On Tuesday, the actress, 31, stepped out for dinner in London with long-time pal Dominic Cooper, 42, and another diner, in a meal her representative said was a ‘business meeting for a charity project’
- At the time, London was in Tier Two, the rules of which include: ‘You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble’
- Business meetings are exempt from the rule, in what has been branded a ‘loophole’
- Last month a government spokesperson said: ‘There is a specific exemption that is there for freelancers and the self-employed to allow people to have meetings. But we are encouraging people to meet virtually’
- Her dinner marks Lily’s first public outing since she was seen canoodling with her married co-star West during a romantic break in Rome, the pictures that reportedly left his marriage to wife Catherine FitzGerald ‘in crisis’
Lily James met her long-time pal Dominic Cooper and another diner inside a restaurant in London on Tuesday night, in her first outing since her scandal erupted with married Dominic West.
Up until Thursday, when the UK went into lockdown, London was in Tier Two, the rules of which include: ‘You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble’, however Lily has claimed to MailOnline that the dinner was a business meeting – which is permitted.
The Rebecca actress, 31, was seen laughing and joking while eating inside the Lemonia Greek restaurant in Primrose Hill, north London, with good friend and Mamma Mia co-star Dominic, 42, and another diner.
Business meetings have been branded ‘a loophole’ in the Tier Two system, with a government spokesperson saying: ‘There is a specific exemption that is there for freelancers and the self-employed to allow people to have meetings. But we have been clear that we are encouraging people to meet virtually where possible.’
Funny business! Lily James met her long-time pal Dominic Cooper and another diner for a business meeting in London on Tuesday night, in her first outing since her scandal erupted with married Dominic West
During her meeting with Cooper the pair giggled and laughed as they seemed to be having fond chats. The pals hit headlines earlier in the year when they enjoyed a raucous day out at a park alongside Billie Piper, before zipping around the capital in Cooper’s vintage sports car.
A representative for Lily said the pair were meeting to discuss the charity project. The meeting took place in the evening and saw the good friends leave together.
After their meeting, Lily appeared extremely determined to keep a low-profile following the dinner, as she lowered her head while Dominic followed her into a waiting black cab with a bottle of wine in hand. Lily put her hand over her face while he was hot on her heels with a bottle of wine in hand as he ventured behind.
The dinner marked Lily’s first public outing since scandal erupted when photos emerged of her canoodling with her married The Pursuit Of Love co-star West during a romantic weekend in Rome, Italy last month.
Shocking: Last month, she became the subject of worldwide scrutiny, when the images emerged showing the actor and Lily enjoying an al fresco lunch with their mutual agent, Angharad Wood
Meeting of minds: A representative for Lily said the duo are working together on a charity project
Animated: The good friends giggled away during the meal before taking their wine to go
As well as the shock of the snaps of her intimate lunch with West – taken on Sunday 11 October – Lily has also been hit with claims that she grew close to her married Rebecca co-star Armie Hammer.
Last month, she became the subject of worldwide scrutiny, when the images emerged showing the actor and Lily enjoying an al fresco lunch with their mutual agent, Angharad Wood.
Lily and West enjoyed a two-day vacation in Italy where they were seen riding on a scooter through Rome, and Dominic appeared to at one point lean over and kiss Lily’s neck.
A source told MailOnline Dominic and Lily spent two nights in a suite at the top Hotel De La Ville with a panoramic view over the city and just at two minutes walk from the Spanish steps.
Just days later, West defiantly defended his marriage to wife Catherine FitzGerald, with the pair staging a photo opportunity outside their Wiltshire home and telling reporters: ‘Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together.’
Chatting away: They were engrossed in chat during the meeting
Hard at work: They seemed engrossed in chat as they sat inside the restaurant
Out and about: Lily put her hand over her face while he was hot on her heels with a bottle of wine in hand as he ventured behind
Drink up! They took their drink to go when they left the restaurant
Lily dated The Crown star Matt Smith, 38, on and off for five years, with the relationship said to be over for cook just weeks before she was pictured with West.
In July, Lily was pictured enjoying a night out and a cosy park date in London with hunky Captain America star Chris Evans, 39.
The actress has raised eyebrows by forging close friendships with her co-stars in recent productions – Armie in Rebecca and West in BBC drama The Pursuit Of Love, which traces the romantic adventures of the free-spirited Linda Radlett between the two world wars.
Lily featured in a number of steamy embraces with The Social Network star Armie in the recent Netflix adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca – but it was their off-camera chemistry that prompted gossip on the set before he split from his wife this summer.
The actor, who stars as the mysterious Maxim de Winter, split from wife Elizabeth Chambers, 38, in July after 10 years of marriage, and they share children Harper, five, and Ford, three.
A film insider also told the publication: ‘She and Armie were obviously close and spent a lot of time together in the evenings and at weekends.’
Meanwhile, following the emergence of the images of her lunch with West, Lily pulled out of a series of promotional appearances to plug Rebecca and has remained silent on the scandal ever since.
In The Pursuit Of Love, West appears as the bullying and eccentric Uncle Matthew.
Low-key: Lily seemed keen not to be seen as she stepped out with a hat pulled low on her eyes after dining at Lemonia Greek restaurant in Primrose Hill, north London
Out and about: Lily, who dated The Crown star Matt Smith from 2014 until 2019, has raised eyebrows by forging close friendships with her co-stars in recent productions – Armie in Rebecca and West in BBC drama The Pursuit Of Love
In an interview with The Guardian conducted before the dalliance in Rome, Ms James said she had known her co-star for ‘a really long time’ since they appeared together in a Shakespeare play a decade ago.
Speaking of his role in their latest venture, she added: ‘He’s a brilliant Uncle Matthew, another mad sort of character.
‘I have a great line in it where I say, “Matthew is frightening and I disapprove of him, but I feel he sets the bar for English manhood.” What a great line.’
It was reported last month that that West’s wife Catherine has held crisis talks with her family over the future of her marriage.
Off you go: The duo zipped away in a black cab together after the dinner
Catherine, 49, was said to have been left devastated when the images emerged, yet two days later, the couple defended their marriage in a smug photo opportunity outside their Wiltshire home.
Despite their display, insiders claim Catherine, who shares Dora, 13, Senan, 12, Francis, 11, and Christabel, seven, with the actor, is now at her home in County Limerick, Ireland where she is deciding the future of her marriage.
A source told The Sun: ‘She’s holed up in her family’s ancestral home, Glin Castle in County Limerick, thinking everything over.
‘Catherine has called on Nesta and Honor to help her as she’s been struggling to come to a decision about whether she and Dominic can go back to how they were.
Low-key: Lily was determined not be seen following her scandal
Support: West, 51, put on a defiant display of unity with his wife Catherine FitzGerald
What are the Tier Two rules?
– People are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting
– The rule of six continues to apply for socialising outdoors, for instance in a garden or public space like a park or beach
– People are allowed to meet in restaurants under the guidance for work meetings
‘Nesta has told friends that it felt like a family crisis meeting.
‘Both she and Honor are fiercely protective of their older sister and want only what’s best for her, even if that means Catherine walking away.’
The insider added to the publication that Catherine has been left feeling humiliated over her husband’s recent actions.
In the wake of the scandal, Catherine flew into Shannon airport in County Clare and travelled to her family castle 50 miles away.
Regarding Armie, sources close to the actor and his wife Elizabeth Chambers, said their marriage went into a nose-dive in the Autumn of 2019 after she found passionate texts and letters from a mystery woman who signed herself ‘Adeline’.
While Adeline’s identity remains a mystery, sources also claimed Lily and Armie grew close after appearing in passionate scenes in the adaptation of the 1938 Daphne du Maurier novel, and insiders added that the pair formed a close bond on set.
Armie and Elizabeth announced their split in July after 10 years of marriage and it was reported last month that he had filed for joint custody of their children.
Lily and Armie finally made a joint appearance after cancelling a string of interviews following her recent Dominic West scandal on Mark Wright’s Heart show last week.
Before that, Lily had pulled out of interviews with the Today show in America last week and the upcoming episode of The Graham Norton Show.
During their joint appearance Lily discussed her love for the Spice Girls, but again failed to address that romantic liaison with Dominic.
Way back when: As well as the shock of the snaps of her intimate lunch with West – taken on Sunday 11 October – Lily has also been hit with claims that she grew close to her married Rebecca co-star Armie Hammer (pictured with his estranged wife Elizabeth Chambers)
Off we go! She was headed off with her pal as she sported a mask while he opted to forego a face covering
Mark told Lily that Emma Bunton, who she is a fan of, has her own Heart show and Lily said: ‘I love Emma so much, and I went to the Spice Girls gig and she met me back stage and it was one of the greatest days of my life…
‘I was with my two best friends and my other best friend lives in New York and Emma did a video with us and was like “Hi Danni” and honestly us four best friends have known each other since we were eleven, it was one of the greatest moments of our life. I adore her.’
Armie chimed in and spoke about her emotional reaction to the video, adding: ‘Lily came to work the next day after the Spice Girls concert and while in the makeup trailer talking to her makeup artist about the fact that she got a video with Emma, she started crying.’
Lily also detailed the strop she had when she thought she was going to miss the show, and said:
Intimate: It’s been claimed that Lily and Armie grew close after appearing in passionate scenes in the adaptation of the 1938 Daphne du Maurier novel, and insiders have now claimed the pair formed a close bond on set
‘Also, on the night of going, they kept me later than they should have. They went overtime and I have never thrown a tantrum on set before, and I was livid, wasn’t I Armie? I thought I was going to miss the Spice Girls!’
Mark didn’t question Lily on her recent headline-grabbing getaway, where she was pictured cosying up to Dominic during the romantic weekend away.
Lily made her first TV appearance following the controversy on the Wednesday before, when she appeared on he Jimmy Fallon show without Armie to discuss their film. She addressed Mamma Mia 3! rumours during the chat.
Jimmy, 46, also did not broach the scandalous subject which saw Dominic and his wife Catherine FitzGerald, 49, take part in a bizarre photocall outside their Cotswolds home last week, insisting their ‘marriage was strong.’
Lily’s interview segment opened with Jimmy asking about her quarantine project of teaching a Broadway class over Zoom.
Drink up! It seems the duo did not finish their bottle of wine so brought it with them
She said it was her first time teaching and the project consisted of Broadway and West End professionals teaching theatre classes online to students.
‘It’s great because, you know, when these performers can’t perform because of lockdown they’re getting to share their skills and people at home can be creative and learn and try and have some fun,’ Lily said.
‘I was teaching audition technique which is insane because I am terrible at auditions. I auditioned for Mamma Mia! during Glastonbury weekend. I knew I had to sing in this audition, I was desperate for this part.
‘It was due to be scheduled at the end of Glastonbury. I knew for sure that after screaming in a field for five days there was no way I would be able to sing, so I did it on the way in the car.
‘I had the car parked and filled to the brim with wellies. I went to Glasto. My phone ran out of battery
She’s BACK! Last month, Lily made her first solo TV appearance following her holiday where she addressed Mamma Mia 3! rumours during the chat and spoke about Rebecca
Quarantine project: Jimmy, 46, did not broach the scandalous subject and opened Lily’s interview segment by asking about her quarantine project of teaching a Broadway class over Zoom
‘It wasn’t until on the way home, I plugged my phone in and my agent called me. I was like, [raspy voice]… ‘Hello!’
‘She said: ‘You got the job!’ I said ‘Please say it doesn’t start soon’.’
Fallon asked Lily: ‘The producers say it was meant to be a trilogy, so there may be a Mamma Mia! 3 in the works. Would you be interested?’
‘Yes, I would do 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,’ she replied. ‘I’m down. Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m theirs.’
Lily also plugged her new movie Rebecca and particularly praised her co-star Kristin Scott Thomas, 60, for her work in the movie.
‘She’s just chilling and wonderful in every way,’ Lily said.
Meanwhile, Lily can breathe a sigh of relief because her next screen role involves no romantic interest. She is set to play Peggy Jo Tallas, a Texan outlaw who held up a string of banks in the 1990s – dressed as a man.
What is shamanic healing?
Shamans are believed to be able to communicate with spirits through magic, rituals and spiritual visions.
While shamanic healing can include the shaman removing or replacing energies within the individual’s soul.
It is a practice that has been used around the world for more than 100,000 years.
But while the armed robber was no stranger to adrenaline, her love life – unlike Miss James’s – was apparently non-existent.
Ms James’s forthcoming movie, Peggy Jo, has been described as ‘Bonnie but without the Clyde’ and will be filmed early next year on location in Texas and the southern United States.
The action begins in May 1991 when Tallas – in her trademark disguise of a stetson hat and a fake beard – starts her crime spree.
Following a robbery in 2005, Tallas – then aged 60 – was shot dead after pointing a fake gun at police. Peggy Jo is expected to be in cinema by the end of 2021.
Lily also took part in an awkwardly-timed Harper’s Bazaar video interview, again conducted before the pictures of her and Dominic West came out, but released shortly after.
During the chat, she referred to ‘making mistakes’, ‘women having affairs’ and her ‘rebellious streak’.
In the video, the star said: ‘I feel I’ve rebelled in that way, I was always a rebellious teenager and I think it’s important to rebel in that way. I think criticism can be good if it’s constructive but I feel like if it’s attacking you or a vendetta that’s really difficult but I’m still learning….
‘I’m still figuring it out but I do think I can grow and develop a thicker skin. All that matters is those who love you.’
Speaking about Rebecca, she went on: ‘The character against Rebecca, she went against all norms as a woman, disobeyed her husband and had affairs was basically just brilliant and that was only in the 30s and people are afraid of women when they’re unleashed and women are warriors and that’s intimidating.’
On making mistakes, she continued: ‘I think I make mistakes all the time and I feel that’s what life’s about and I would never want to run away from a situation or be too scared to act…
‘I think it’s better to throw yourself in and if your instincts are right even if they’re misguided or if you’re open you can recover from your mistakes and learn from them’.
Elsewhere in the chat, Lily admitted she wishes her younger self ‘had not been so obsessed with boys’ – and said she still thinks of herself as a child. She said she wishes she had ‘hung out with girl mates’ more in her younger years, and that she often wants to be ‘another person’ as she stunned in plunging satin for a striking shoot.
On advice she would give her younger self, she told the publication: ‘Don’t be obsessed by boys! Hang out with your girl mates. And don’t take everything so seriously – be kind to yourself!’
Lily recently revealed she undergoes shamanic healing sessions via Zoom as she continues her latest round of promotional appearances.
True character: Embattled actress Lily James has spoken about the differences between how she’s perceived and how she truly is in a newly unveiled interview with Grazia
In an interview with the Guardian Weekend magazine, released last month, the actress told how she is ‘horribly gullible’ and ‘easy to convince’.
Shamans are believed to be able to communicate with spirits through magic, rituals and spiritual visions. While shamanic healing can include the shaman removing or replacing energies within the individual’s soul. It is a practice that has been used around the world for more than 100,000 years.
Talking about her shamanic healing sessions guided with a healer, Lily said: ‘Over Zoom, with music and drumming and a healer who has led me through all these different rooms in my brain where I had all these messages. I met my grandmother’s dog Dylan, who taught me to laugh.’
Lily admitted that she is ‘horribly gullible’ and ‘easy to convince’, revealing that she was once approached by a fortune teller on Venice Beach in California.
She said: ‘She came up to me and she said some s** to me that was so right, it was terrifying. But immediately the person I was with said, ‘Come on, Lily, she knows who you are’ which was true, maybe.’
Lily went on to admit that she’s concerned the world has become too ‘moralistic’, saying that with art and life it’s ‘never black and white’ with everything happening in the ‘grey area’.
She said: ‘I think conversations about things that are difficult can become very much one side versus the other. We’re in a time where I feel things become very moralistic, and then it’s very difficult to explore around the edges.’
Awkward! Lily James’ awkwardly-timed comments about ‘making mistakes’, ‘women having affairs’ and her ‘rebellious streak’ emerged in the wake of her scandal with West
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