I love celebrity gossip. All of it: the dirt, the divorces, the scandals, the weddings, the babies, the bump watch. In fact, my first stop every morning when I sit down at my computer is at all the gossip sites: TMZ, X17Online, LaineyGossip, People Magazine. I read them all. I devour every tidbit like it’s a cheesecake on my birthday, but I don’t believe a single word.
Celebrities know they live a life in the public eye. In fact, much of what you read has been crafted very carefully by them or their public relations team. Rarely will you see something in a tabloid that has happened spontaneously (think Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders) and wasn’t set up with the paparazzi and staged beforehand (think Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston) by none other than the stars themselves.
Really savvy celebs spend too much time managing the way the public sees them, and what it reads about them, for it to ever come down to chance.
That’s why none of us should believe anything I read in the world of celebrity. In every story you read, there is his side, her side, the public relations side, and the truth—which you will never, ever know, unless you are that star’s public relations person, and even then…The crux of eating at the celebrity gossip table is remembering all of that when you sit down.
I wasn’t going to go there, but take Brad and Angelina. She filed, so she took the lead in the gossip race early. He scrambled for the reins, and good on him for not addressing the allegations being made by “sources” (that is for another post).
Instantly, people took a stand: Karma is a bitch, cheater. She was never good enough for him. I always hated him for what he did to Jen. He cheated on her, and she should have expected it; never marry the man who cheated on his wife with you.
That fans even take a stand or pick a side is beyond me. We don’t know these people, we don’t have a place in their lives, we don’t know what happens behind any of those closed celebrity doors. Did he cheat? Only he knows, and we know this for sure: he’s not going to confide in TMZ. Was he violent with his child while on a raging bender? Again, you will never be taken into confidence on that one because the only people who know that truth are Brad, Angie and the kids. Even the so-called “sources” are being told what to say.
But we are entitled to wonder, and here is why: They want us to.
Do these stars put their lives up for public consumption? Yes. Are we entitled to read what we like and gossip about it? Of course! Do their careers live and die by the sword of our love for them? Absolutely…that’s why they feed us gossip.
If the celebrity gossip game has taught me anything, it’s that it’s very rare for details about a secret/scandal/divorce/wedding to just jump out of the bag without the celebrity’s prior knowledge and consent.
I’m not talking about the chaff that gossip magazines serve up like “who wore it best” and “worst celebrity cellulite”—I think we can all agree that is just filler, and to be honest, stuff that no one needs to talk about. I’m talking about the stories that pull us in and make us pick sides, thereby making them want to control the story.
Because controlling the story is all it is about. It’s not about stopping the story because in the world of celebrity, there is no such thing as bad PR. They want the story to get out there because it gives them the opportunity to spin it their way and make you pick sides. That’s the game and for many of us, it’s fun.
Tabloids and gossip rags are like industry pages to celebrities. They use them as pawns in their game of one-upmanship and they always will because it works.
So here’s a little advice from a celeb gossip lover. When I hear about celebrity news, my go-to outlet is TMZ because if it isn’t there, it isn’t happening. But when you’re devouring it, always read between the lines. That’s the way gossip is meant to be served.