'Kabbalah follower' Gwyneth Paltrow takes a bow at Madonna's charity party

Daily Mail, UK/February 7, 2008

Just weeks after she was seen slumped in a wheelchair at a New York City hospital, Gwyneth Paltrow proved to the world last night she is back in fine form.

The star radiated on the red carpet at a charity party hosted by her close pal Madonna last night, but left fashion critics divided with her thigh-skimming pink Gucci frock, which was trimmed with a giant satin bow.

Gwyneth's friendship with the pop star has intensified in recent times, with a source telling MailOnline the actress is now exploring Kabbalah, the Jewish faith Madonna follows.

Once inside Gwyneth, who has avoided the spotlight in recent times, rubbed shoulders with Hollywood heavyweights including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Demi Moore and Jennifer Lopez at the New York party to raise funds for Malawi orphans.

The actress has had a difficult time of late - she was treated in hospital earlier this month, however her spokesperson refused to elaborate on her condition.

There have also been ongoing rumours of a rift between herself and her Coldplay frontman husband Chris Martin - although these have always been vehemently denied by the couple.

Throughout her personal struggles, Gwyneth is said to have turned to Madonna - and Kabbalah - for support.

She was spotted leaving the Kabbalah Centre in New York last week after an hour-long visit.

A source revealed: "Gwyneth had a very hard year personally and she's really pushed herself to the limit as a mother and an actress. Her getting into Kabballah is simply a response to that.

"She's a seeker, and with Madonna's encouragement, she's now looking into Kabballah - she's simply on a personal quest."

"Even though they've known each other for years, Madonna and Gwyneth have become especially close in the last year and a half to the point that they consider each other sisters.

The source continues: "Madonna's never pushed anyone into Kabballah per se, but she's open about what she's gotten out of her practice and study of it.

"Gwyneth just decided it was time to experience it firsthand."

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