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Eze does it for Bono and pals



EVEN Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro was so starstruck when he popped into Bono's Mediterranean hideaway this summer that he couldn't resist whipping out his camcorder.

Sure, he may have used the old "I was filming my kids in the pool" excuse, but he probably also focused on Brad Pitt as the star's chiselled visage quickly came into focus. You see, the U2 frontman has been playing the pied piper of the French Riviera this summer, enticing celebrities far and wide into his luxury mansion with his enchanting air of 'cool'.

It seems when Ireland's smoothest operator goes on vacation he doesn't just hang out with the common rich folk -- he takes it to the next level and lays back among the superstar celebrities -- the 'have and the have yachts'.

Back in May, he gathered Hollywood royalty together for a star-studded stroll down the beach where The Edge, Brad Pitt, a heavily pregnant Angelina Jolie and their rainbow clan soaked up the sun before heading back to the exclusive pad.

The luxury mansion, co-owned by Bono and The Edge, has meant the duo have been mingling with A-listers on the French playground for the rich and famous since 1993, when the duo splashed out the equivalent of a reported €3.8m on the coral coloured seaside pad.

With neighbours such as Tina Turner and Roger Moore, and none other than Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Prince Rainier's sister, the 20-room villa is in a prime location in the village of Eze- Sur-Mer on the French Riviera. The picturesque hamlet is a hotspot for the rich and famous, and it is conveniently located between the vibrant city of Nice and the jet-set glamour of Monte Carlo. The U2 stars' beach-front mansion, which offers the utmost privacy for its celebrity inhabitants, is also close to Johnny Depp's chateau, meaning that their families have become quite close in recent years.

Just the other week, Bono put the Pirates of the Caribbean star up in the Clarence hotel in Dublin while the two caught Tom Waits in concert in the Phoenix Park.

But despite the fact that he has spent his summer socialising with the who's who of Hollywood's VIP circle, Bono has still found the time to catch a few rays with his old group of friends.

In June, the rock legend spent the day lounging on a yacht in the Mediterranean resort of St Tropez with lifelong friend Guggi and songwriter Simon Carmody -- although onlookers reportedly gawped at how Bono could keep his cool while dressed in a heavy black T-shirt in the sweltering 30 degree heat.

However, it wasn't long before the U2 rocker was back with the big guns when, in July, the singer called up Pitt and his fellow movie pal De Niro to see if they and their families wanted to pop round for a bite to eat and a ride on his yacht.

After his personal chef whipped up a nice evening meal for everyone, he then whisked the group off to his luxury cruiser near Lerins Island, where De Niro took his 10-year-old son, Elliot, out on a jet ski and for a ride on a banana boat, as his partner Grace Hightower watched from on board.

More recently again, Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney, supermodel Cindy Crawford, and her husband, Rande Gerber, joined Bono and The Edge for a get- together in their sprawling villa in the exclusive enclave.

Clooney had been on board Cindy and Rande's luxury yacht Silver when they sailed past the mansion and decided to call in.

After last week, as snappers followed Bono to Italy where he was seen strolling hand in hand with his beautiful wife, Ali, it's anybody's guess who he'll be spotted with next.

At least hardcore U2 fans will be glad to hear that all this time spent schmoozing with the beautiful people has contributed to the band's best work yet.

As Bono commented recently: "You can't live like this and put out a crap album."

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