Sean Penn & Minka Kelly’s birthday dinner in Napa was their ‘first date’?


We’re still talking about Sean Penn and Minka Kelly because… it’s still bizarre to think about. And I’m still hypnotized by the mental image of the Ham-Face going beet red on top of her. As we discussed yesterday, it seems that Sean joined Minka and a few of her friends in Napa last week to celebrate her birthday. Sean paid for the group and he seemingly traveled a distance just to attend her party. Which led me to believe that they were doing it. Not so, says Us Weekly. Well, actually Us Weekly says that Minka’s birthday party was their first date. Um, what?

Movin’ on. Less than two weeks after Us Weekly exclusively broke the news of Sean Penn and Charlize Theron’s split, the Gangster Squad actor, 54, has found another potential leading lady: Minka Kelly.

A source confirms to Us that Penn treated Kelly and a couple of friends to a “very pricey meal” at Thomas Keller’s elite eatery The French Laundry in Napa, Calif., for the Almost Human actress’ 35th birthday.

The insider says that Penn — whose famous exes include Theron, Scarlett Johansson, and ex-wives Madonna and Robin Wright — flew up to Napa with a pal on the night of June 23, and met Kelly and her girlfriend for dinner. The two apparently met at a benefit the actor threw for his Haiti relief organization J/P HRO.

“That was their first date, but it was a group setting,” the insider tells Us of the birthday feast at French Laundry. “It was more of a ‘let’s see how this goes.’”

It went well, according to the source. “Minka and Sean got along great and had a great time, but it’s unclear where it’s going,” the insider says.

[From Us Weekly]

An intimate birthday party as a first date? Flying to Napa for a first date? I’m not sure I’m buying that. Interestingly enough, People Magazine also has an “insider” with interesting insider information: “Sean and Minka have been friends for a long time. It was just a group of friends out to dinner and purely platonic.” O RLY? Or is that just the official line? Is this just a rebound fling? Is Sean trying to make Charlize jealous? Good luck with that! My opinion is the same as yesterday: the Ham-Face has been intimate with Minka. They wouldn’t be scrambling and lying like this if they weren’t hitting it.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

74 Responses to “Sean Penn & Minka Kelly’s birthday dinner in Napa was their ‘first date’?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Serenity says:

    If this is true, why do all these beautiful women keep dating this dry leather-face turd??
    (looks aside, not forgetting his violence and anger issues)

    • funcakes says:

      Because they want their names in the press. When is the last time you heard anything about Kelly? She was the it girl for a hot second five years ago.

      • ell says:

        come on, charlize doesn’t need penn to have her name in the press. there must be something else. maybe he’s very good in bed, or super charming until you get to know him. i really have no idea.

      • funcakes says:

        Was refering to Kelly not Charlize. :-)

    • BangersandMash says:

      Serenity…. It’s TRUE!!! Believe it!!!

      Just why would a grown man fly to napa and pay for a “very pricey meal” to have an intimate birthday party with someone they are just friends with or for a first date???

      It was her, 2/3 other people and Sean… Okay?? Not like she gave all her friends and family this invitation, just a selected few… And she she selected Sean, and he ended up paying for the party meal.

      It’s happening!!!

      I guess Amber Heard will soon have a friend to talk too when her 50 year old starts acting up.
      *shaking my damn head and appreciating my singleness even more*

    • Lori says:

      She’s really only known for her dating life. But what a fall its been from Jeter to Evans to this old creeper.

  2. Ainsley says:

    This is just gross.

  3. PHD Gossip says:

    my theory: she needed some poor Schmuck to pick up the check for her birthday dinner with her friends.

  4. lisa2 says:

    “they have been friends for a long time”

    same thing that was said by Charlize about her and Sean. But the thing is sometimes we don’t know celebrity connections. Some seem very random when you find out these people are friends. Time will tell if this is real or not.

  5. Dragonlady Sakura says:

    I can’t imagine any woman wanting to date (sleep) with creepy, ghoul face Sean Penn. All I can say is, he MUST be a helluva lover…(vomits)

    • bette says:

      All the exes should have a dinner party together–I would pay to see that reality show!

    • ilikegettindrunk says:

      A dude can be a helluva lover, but if he doesn’t have a half-decent, healthy face to look at, I can’t do the Jiggy Jiggy. Nope.

      • Monroe says:

        Does anyone else look at Penn and see a resemblance to Jeremy Renner? Like this is what Renner will look like when he gets older and gross?

  6. funcakes says:

    This makes Sean look so deperate. This is revenge dating solely for Charlize’s benefit.

    What a sad, sad little man. Charlize could care less. After seeing this she’s breathing a sigh of relief for dodging that bullet.

    • patricia says:

      In the meantime she looked like an idiot introducing this turd to her kid’s life and calling him the “love of my life” after dating him for just a year and a half. Now she is just another one in his list of hit and run victims, an someone as arrogant and entitled as charlize has to hate this.

  7. OSTONE says:

    Cue Charlize rolling hey eyes at another C lister 😂

  8. Shambles says:

    I really want this to be something his publicist cooked up to make him look like a sensitive romantic in the wake of the Charlize breakup (and maybe to deflect from some details that are working their way out?), and maybe her publicist agreed to it to create some buzz around her name. I really want that to be it, because that’s the only way I could understand this. Kind of. She’s absolutely lovely, and he’s an angry leather handbag.

  9. Jegede says:

    Minka will be the most beautiful girl he has ever been with, if true. JMO

    • Lirko says:

      I think she is drop dead gorgeous, too. She could be Penelope Cruz’s little sister.

    • Elisa the I. says:

      Seriously? She looks like Blair from Gossip Girl (forgot the name of the actress) = pretty bland. I have never heard of her before this news came up… I agree with the commenters below that someone is thirsty. And he is gross. So maybe this is a good match. :P

      • Sticks says:

        Elisa the I – I agree with you. I get them mixed up in my mind too. Both pretty for sure but not stand out-ish.

    • Tara says:

      No way. Minka is very pretty, but she’s got nothing on Charlize. Charlize is a true classic beauty.

  10. P.J. says:

    Oooooh. Maybe Sean cheated on Charlize with Minka, she found out with solid evidence and THAT is the reason she dumped his ass so abruptly?? I hope not but God, would that make for great gossip 😄

    Btw, don’t you just love the classic, totally BS line “They’ve been friends for a long time” that Hollywood agents are so fond of planting in situations such as these? Because, when has a paparazzo or fan ever caught so much as a SINGLE shot of Sean Penn and Minka Kelly together over the years?? Not out to coffee, dinner, at the gym, a charity event, nothing. Sean is a pretty big star and Minka, not so much, so it seems to me that these unlikely “friends” would have been spotted out together at some point at least once. Ugh.

    • ell says:

      didn’t she grow up in the business though? like her parents are famous or something.

      • Kate says:

        No. Her Dad was a guitarist for Aerosmith for a hot minute like back in the 80′s, but that was about it.

  11. kri says:

    I hate the thought that any woman would go near him.

  12. QQ says:

    Well…I Know who else besides his dong this is good For: Minka Kelly’s Thirst

  13. Tiffany27 says:

    First date in Napa? Damn I’m broke.

    • jen2 says:

      Yeah, at one of the most expensive and highly regarded restaurants in the country where it can take a year to get reservations. Kind of makes you wonder. Oh and who is this woman again? His others have been pretty high profile and blonde. She does not seem to fit his “type”.

  14. Kiddo says:

    Some guy I sorta now from charity events foots the bill for my birthday? Ah, no. Unless you happen to run into someone who tags along and then wants to pay, this is just weird to me. Hey guys, for my birthday, this guy who just broke up with his girlfriend and is a known hothead is gonna spring for our festivities and pay for a flight. It just feels, I don’t know, like you and your friends are being bought. Just go on a normal date that isn’t extravagant and see from there.

    • Esmerelda says:

      “It just feels, I don’t know, like you and your friends are being bought”

      …and that she’s either too naive or too thirsty to be bothered by the creepiness.
      At any rate, it’s a strange press spin.

    • Kiddo says:

      It makes her look ‘bought’. I don’t know, with someone I’m sorta friendly with, I would have chipped in, for integrity sake, so I don’t owe a random anything in return.

      * I also meant ‘know’ and not now in my first comment, so duh.

      • Esmerelda says:

        It’s also the wording “he picked up the tab at this expensive place” that has sugar daddy-ish undertones, as opposed to a more neutral “he threw a birthday party for a friend at her favourite restaurant”

        totally agree with your chip-in, no-owing M.O, here, especially for a random / new relationship

  15. Kate says:

    I don’t buy it. There is a rumor that Minka is dating another guy named Blake. Although, that rumor is mostly based on similar Instagram photos between her and this Blake guy (both went to Louisina, outdoor movies, horse races at the same time; there is a photo of him lounging with her dog at her or his house; him driving in a video she posted). So, who knows. Maybe I’m in denial over the whole Penn thing.

  16. Nikki says:

    Not convinced she’d sink this low, I hope it’s truly just platonic due to some shared charity interest. Otherwise, I can only think she’d know it would get massive publicity on the immediate heels of his breakup with Theron. Please let it be platonic, or I’ll forever only be able to see her through “ick factor” glasses…

  17. Diane says:

    My theory is Sean Penn needs a woman who is not going to outshine him. The reason Theron and his ex-wife didn’t work out is because they were stealing his attention. No chance of that with Minka.

  18. Specialp says:

    What is she famous for again??

  19. Sassback says:

    He has such a type. Tough sultry sex-symbol blondes (at least Madonna was back in the day.) Minka breaks the pattern, I guess, in that she’s a brunette? I don’t know anything else about her.

  20. Livealot says:

    I read “Minka Kelly” as “Mindy Kaling” and my heart sank. Whew. Ok. Carry on. Good luck with that Minka!

  21. patricia says:

    All I got is that there’s no way you can take a pic of a celeb at the French Laundry and then sell it to TMZ, with the unbelievable story that you could hear from the near tables Penn explaining how he met this girl. Smells PR move so bad.

  22. bellebottomblues says:

    not trying to defend Penn…just trying to comprehend what it is he has that draws
    these attractive, smart accomplished women
    He seems smart with lots of interests, articulate and must have a helluva charismatic personality.
    Not withstanding the temper and anger issues lol. No, he’s not conventionally good looking.
    There are tons of gorgeous guys who have the personality of milk toast. It’s a shame he keeps self sabotaging. The ones I feel sorry for are the kids, his and Charlize’s.

    • TX says:

      I think you’re right. He And he probably puts on a good show at first.

      • PR says:

        I’m sorry but many of these women may be attractive-Charlize is the most gorgeous of them all, but they are not known for their minds. They are in showbiz and people in showbiz are hugh social climbers. They have to be visible and have great contacts to get work and Sean has a lot of contacts and he directs movies as well. These women don’t flock to him because of his ‘charm’, ‘intelligence’ or ‘sex appeal’. It’s his status that these women find the most appealing and dating Sean will elevate their status in Hollywood.

  23. A.Key says:

    Who is she????? I seriously never heard of her.

    • FW says:

      You and millions of other people. It’s sad that she wants to be in the spotlight so badly without really deserving it.

  24. TX says:

    I could but that it’s a first date if they have been friends for a while. That way, it’s not as if they don’t know each other. There is a base there that would justify the trip.

    Also, it seems to me a trip to Napa and French Laundry isn’t as big a gesture to him as it is to us. Maybe we are applying our “not celebrity” filter to this and it’s not as big of a deal to him (and her) as we think?

  25. FingerBinger says:

    Two adults had dinner. They might be having a fling. They might be just be friends. The analyzing and the conspiracy theories are a bit much.

  26. jwoolman says:

    Considering how long it takes to get a reservation at this place – maybe he had reserved it months ago and just revised the guest list after the breakup. Her birthday might have been just convenient.

    • Dara says:

      @jwoolman, good point. Unless the French Laundry holds a table for last-minute celeb requests (which is possible), tables there are virtually impossible to get on short notice. I think whoever had the reservation (not sure who at this point) found themselves short a few people when the day came – the restaurant is not kind towards cancelling or reducing head count – and they had no choice but to look through their contact list to see who might be available. That’s my theory anyway.

  27. Kiki says:

    I don’t get why people are so sorry for her, like she’s some innocent victim of this terrible man. I mean, she is 35 effing years old. And, hum… Derek Jeter, John Mayer, Chris Evans, Wilmer Valderrama – her resume speaks for itself. This girl is shady to say the least and I think she knows exactly what she’s doing. The attention she’s getting from it is just a bonus.

  28. JET76 says:

    Anyone else notice that Minka Kelly looks like a younger version of Caitlyn Jenner?

  29. dos equis says:

    Am I the only one who thinks she sometimes looks a little… unhinged? Sometimes her eyes look a little crazy, like in that first picture.

    Anyways, I think she’s the one who leaked the dinner pics and info, and that’s why there’s all this spinning now “oh no, they’re just longtime friends, nothing to see here”. I get the feeling she can’t help herself.

    • Ashley says:

      Yeah Minka does have a case of the creepy eyes. I heard she stalked Chris Evans in 2011. Chris took her to the Haiti benefit gala that same year where she met Sean, but I really doubt that she became friends with Sean after that. Her movie resume has been dead since she was dumped by Chris 2 years ago, lets see if Sean will get her any work.

  30. Leanna says:

    It amazes me he can find these women. He must have a lot of connections like a damn sider web across Hollywood. It also amazes me these women risk themselves on a personal level to be exposed to a man with a reputation of raging on lovers. But whatever, maybe he paid for the entire encounter and all she had to do was show up, as in his way of damage control. This feels like he manipulated it to appear a certain way – a classic narcissistic move imo. Dear Charlize, you dodged a bullet! Love, Leanna

  31. Tara says:

    I really think it was a major blow to his gigantic ego when Charlize dumped him the way she did. It’s even out in public the way she kicked his butt to the curb. I hope this is platonic, and even if it is, Sean has to make it look like he can still get a hot chick. He’s one of those guys who is so insecure, he can’t be alone and has to have a beautiful woman he can control. He couldn’t keep Robin Wright or Charlize Theron around. Talk about fail.

  32. holly hobby says:

    Hmm..Captain America or Ham Faced bitter man? Wrong choice. I’d rather stick with Captain America.

  33. LouLou says:

    I don’t have an opinion about them dating, but Penn used to have a home in Marin County, which is not very far from Napa. I don’t know if he still has property there. I used to live in the Bay Area. It’s a short drive. So, I guess people are saying he flew in from someplace, but he may have been planning to stay in the area anyway?

    • Chrissy says:

      I was thinking the same. He might know the owner of the restaurant or even own a piece of it because he lives/lived in the area. That might explain the short notice reservation. Also, he’s saving face after being publicly dumped and she’s basking in the attention of an A-lister. It’s just another PR relationship IMO.

      • laura in LA says:

        Very late to the party here, but I thought of Sean’s homebase in NorCal and desperately hoped this wasn’t a play for Minka…

        While that may be so, I think that like you both said, he simply scored a hard-to-get, last minute reservation for her birthday. Then he picked up the check, garnered some PR for both of them, and that’s all there is to it.

        At least, that’s what I hope – for her sake!

    • patricia says:

      They, Penn and Wright sold the property just before the divorce. 6 years ago, or so.It was a huge spanish style mansion.

  34. Surprised says:

    This relationship is bringing minka the most press she’s ever seen in her life. She’s gonna work hard to tie him down.

    I heard about Blake too. Who knows but Sean is gonna be the one who revives her career. This man is charming and manipulative and minka seems like the type to easily believe his words

  35. Me too says:

    Ten bucks says that he is 1) charming, 2) smooth, and 3) good in bed. I know the type and can understand the appeal. (Not him specifically, but that type of guy the reels you in and your biological desires take over)

  36. vivi says:

    Charlize should start dating Chris Evans then :-) Perhaps Hemsworth can hook them up since he’s working with her on the hunstman.

  37. Nimbolicious says:

    Run, Minka…….Run!!!