Every Wednesday, we play Midweek Madness, in which we dare to try and "read" the celebrity tabloids. This week, Us was the only mag that used Rhianna as the main cover image.
Star went retro with a Jen/Brad story; OK! beat the horse carcass that is the Jessica Simpson "weight battle." Life & Style seized upon the "Octomom". But kudos to In Touch, for taking a risk and putting Tara Reid on the cover. Guess who wants to buy a magazine with Tara Reid on it? No one. Intern Margaret assists as we attempt to drink delicious, bubbly, celebrity gossip.
"Rehab Saved My Life." Intern Margaret wants to know if money exchanged hands between the magazine and Tara Reid, or Promises Malibu — otherwise, why in the name of Bombay Sapphire is there an "exclusive" cover story about Tara Reid? Her revelations include things like: "I wasn't drinking any more than my friends, so I didn't get it. I'd think, why am I an alcoholic and she isn't? The truth is, some people can drink and some can't." Moving on: Jet-setting is "taking a toll" on Angie and Brad's brood! They've been to eight countries in eight weeks — from the U.S. to Germany, France, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the U.K. An eyewitness in the Japanese airport said, "The kids looked miserable and frightened." Three of them had coughs and runny noses. Plus, the children's education has been "patchy at best." Ever wonder why John Mayer can't commit? It's because a girl named Allison broke his heart when he was 16. A friend says, "They were madly in love, but something went wrong." John vowed never to get his heart stomped on again! Tom Cruise finally looks like the "man of Katie's dreams" because he toned up. An eyewitness from a beach in Brazil says: "He's totally ripped." Next: Pamela Anderson is now living with her new boyfriend, a 41-year-old electrician and surfer. Pretty much the qualities she'd need in a live-in love, no? Also: Things are "heating up" between Renée Zellweger and MSNBC legal analyst Dan Abrams; they were seen buying wine together. As for the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident, a source claims that the couple is already back together and in seclusion. After her divorce, Pink went to a class called "Demystifying Anger." She says: "Anger is a survival instinct and we're meant to feel it. If expressed in the right way, it's the most healthy feeling you can have." T.I. on Joaquin Phoenix's rap career: "I will not pass judgment until I've actually witnessed his rap ability with my own ears. You've got to keep an open mind." By the by: Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson "can't let go." Sam made $3 million from dating Lindsay last year: She gets $5,000 a night DJing by herself and $25,000 if Lindsay shows up. As for LL, she is "extremely dependent" on Sam and "constantly" texts and calls when they are not together. "Lindsay loves the drama. She'll cause fights so that Sam will pay attention to her," a pal says. Lastly: Cameron Diaz is totally gonna marry Paul Sculfor; they're looking at old castles and "stately homes" in Britain to have a fabulous summer wedding.
Grade: D for content, downgraded to F for cover (clean water in a filthy glass)
"I Will Lose 20 Lbs In 8 Weeks!"
Jessica Simpson has gone up a size in jeans but "Tony couldn't care less," someone says. But she's going on some kind of diet anyway. The pull quote says: "She eats her feelings. It's hard." Moving on! Josh Duhamel and Fergie are ready to adopt… a puppy! Ed Westwick has to tell new girlfriend Jessica Szohr where he's going when he goes out and when he's home, he checks to see if she's called. The mag calls this "whipped"; seems fairly normal, no? In Chris Brown/Rihanna news, a "pal" of Chris's says: "Chris is a great guy. Don't believe everything you read." Lastly: Guess who is getting an engagement ring for her birthday (TODAY!!!)? Jennifer Aniston! She and John Mayer are "slipping away" for a romantic getaway, and John will propose. He recently Twittered that he was at the Diamond Exchange in Tustin, a cut-rate Southern California jewelry store. It was a joke.
Grade: D- (beer with cigarette butts in it)
Life & Style
"Obsessed With Angelina."
A plastic surgeon who does not treat Nadya Suleman says that she appears to have gotten surgical procedures to augment her lips and perfect her nose, making her resemble Angelina Jolie. We noticed! Moving on: The Friday before the Grammys, Chris Brown and Rihanna were fighting and yelling "Fuck you" at each other at Timbaland's pre-Grammy party. The room full of music execs acted like they'd seen it before. But Rihanna and Chris were reportedly seen leaving a hotel together the morning after the incident, before he turned himself in to police. A friend of Chris's says he is freaking out and can't believe he went that far. He also says he's worried he's going to lose all his endorsements. "I know it's messed up, but that's what he said." Moving on: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Suri will return to New York, because Katie is shooting film here next month. Plus, she might join the Broadway musical Finding Neverland. Next: Angelina and Brad went to Thailand to visit a refugee camp; they are "open to adopting a child" from the camp, according to an insider. This week in Dr. Rey's Casebook, we have stars who have "freshened up" for the Oscars — and there are actually men on the page! Brad Pitt got some Botox; Mickey Rourke had a facelift and eyelid surgery. But! the doc has kind words for Kate Winslet: "She appears to have had nothing done and looks fantastic." Lastly, in "Star's Figure Flaws — Fixed," Michelle Trachtenberg has "big" thighs.
Grade: D (flat, day-old off-brand soda)
"The Jen-Brad Tapes"
In a recent interview, Jennifer Aniston admitted, "I still have the cassette tapes of messages from my first boyfriend, my second boyfriend, my husband. It's like saving love letters." Not exactly! Star asks, "Why can't she let go of this diary of lies and deceit?" Apparently Jen stills plays a message in which Brad says, "I can't wait to get my hands on you, Golden." That was his pet name for her! She also listens to messages he left when he was about to leave her, trying to analyze every single nuance and see if there were any hints that he was falling out of love with her that she missed. A friend says she has other stuff from her relationship with Brad, like press clippings, napkins from their first few dates, seashells from walks on the beach. "It's not like it's all tucked away, either. She's spent many lonely nights going through old keepsakes. And she sometimes wears Brad's old t-shirts to sleep in. It's not healthy." Moving on: Ed Westwick and Jessica Szohr are going to Jamaica for a weekend getaway. Cynthia Nixon is planning to have a child with her girlfriend of five years, Christine Marinoni. An insider says they'll use Christine's eggs but Cynthia will carry the baby. Intern Margaret wants Steve to be the daddy! Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel and Freida Pinto were spotted in L.A. sharing kisses over a shared slice of Oreo cheesecake, awwww! Jennifer Aniston might be feuding with the other castmates from Friends; there was talk of a movie, but Jen wanted double the pay of the other stars, so now the flick isn't happening. Sherri Shepard might get laid off from The View due to the economy (and her unpopularity)! Blind item: "The honeymoon is already over for this newly married duo. When hubby got caught flirting with a delivery girl and dishing out a $100 tip, his misses flipped." Michael Douglas's son Cameron was evicted from his house in L.A. because he wasn't paying rent; the landlord has shared pictures of the left-behind drug paraphernalia! A mirror with powder on it, spoons used to "heat a substance" over the stove and filthy syringes. Finally: The mag printed Rhianna's horoscope: "It's all systems go! Prepare for your career to get the kick start it needs. Love and romance are yours for the taking — prepare to give someone the key to your heart. Your intuition is heightened: Follow it and you can't go wrong." (Fig. 1)
Grade: C- (unsweetened tea gone cold)
"Fear & Abuse."
A Rihanna pal says Chris Brown "pimp-slapped" the singer and "punched her in the face," which prompted an eyewitness to call 911. Rihanna's injuries, which included bite marks on her hand and fingers, were photographed by the police before she was taken to the hospital. A source says that Jay-Z "hit the roof." And: "Chris is a walking dead man. He messed with the wrong crew." Back in December, a friend of Rihanna's saw bruises on Rihanna's neck and asked if she was okay; Rihanna responded, "We broke up again." Apparently, at Timbaland's pre-Grammy party, Chris and Rihanna were fighting because Chris accused Rihanna of "fucking" Timbaland and asked her how he was in bed. After the beating on Saturday night, her people were trying to see if they could cover up the story — and the bruises — and released a story about the couple being in a car accident. Moving on: Us obtained legal documents revealing that the "Octomom", Nadya Suleman, went by multiple aliases, and once tried to change her last name to Solomon — her sperm donor's last name. They point out that her alleged sperm donor's name is David Solomon, which is the Hebrew translation of her father's middle and last names: his name is Ed Doud Suleman. That leaves us wondering if "David Solomon" is itself an alias or IF HER FATHER IS HER SPERM DONOR. Plus! Here's an old picture where she doesn't have Angelina's nose (Fig. 2). Also: Neighbors say the Suleman household was "volatile" and that Nadya and her mother fight a lot with "lots of expletives and abusive language." After one fight, a neighbor saw two little boys running "stark naked out of the house." And another neighbor says, about their old house: "It was like transients: mattresses on the floor." Also inside: A spread of the new cast of America's Next Top Model! (Fig. 3) Lastly: There is an ad for Passages Malibu in this issue. "Don't spend another minute struggling with dependency," the copy scolds.
Grade: C (grape soda)