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Never underestimate the psychic toll a messy break-up can take on an individual, even a two-time Oscar-winning actress. According to a National Enquirer report, so distraught was Hilary Swank in the aftermath* of her jettisoning of longtime househusband Chad Lowe that she reverted emotionally to a much less famous stage of her life, one where sleeping with her agent seemed like a reasonable thing to do (he'd make her feel pretty, and maybe score her some better auditions), and not a shocking violation of the unspoken rules governing the sexual conduct of the A-list caste. Relates The Scoop:

John Campisi, Swank's agent at the powerhouse Creative Artists Agency, "has been romantically involved with the two-time Oscar winner since shortly after she split from Chad Lowe," according to the forthcoming National Enquirer.

The tab carries photos of the two embracing in Rome, where they stayed at the ritzy Hotel de Russie, and reports that they were spotted smooching. It also carries excerpts from lawyers' letters to the Enquirer from as early as March, flatly denying any romance between the two. Campisi is married and has a child. His wife, when asked about the couple, said, "I'm saying nothing."

Swank and Campisi have "always cared about one another, but when Hilary's marriage broke up, they went from friends to sweethearts," a "close family friend" told the Enquirer.

Life & Style Weekly is reporting a similar story, also with photos of the two kissing, and lawyers' denials. "They have fabulous chemistry," a source tells L&S. "He knows her so well, he often finishes her sentences."

We understand why the sensitive, "he's married and has a child" angle necessitates some admonitory correspondence from Scary Hollywood Lawyers, but CAA can still spin the potentially embarrassing relationship to its advantage while Swank's legal team battles the tabloids, presenting itself as the "only agency in the business that fully services a client's professional, emotional, and sexual needs."

[*Of course, another version of the timeline might make the unspecified "other factors" Swank told Vanity Fair were responsible for the end of marriage seem like "other factors involving the boinking of her agent." ]

UPDATE: Us Weekly has the incriminating, agent-nuzzling photos.

[Photo: Bauer-Griffin via Us]