On Tuesday morning it was brought to my attention that Lindsay Shookus may have created a Twitter account for the sole purpose of denying new reports that her current relationship with Ben Affleck had begun “as an affair.” The account had just one tweet, and was followed by just 20 people. Soon after becoming follower 21, I discovered something wonderful about “Lindsay Shookus” that no tabloid had yet reported: she’s a follow-back kinda gal.
I DMed my new online buddy immediately, asking if I could contact her by email or phone to verify her identity. A response came in under two minutes. “I’m not looking to have reports written or to speak with media,” it read. “Please respect my privacy. Thank you.” Fair! But I couldn’t help but wonder: was I DMing a fake Lindsay Shookus, or was I pain in a the real Lindsay’s tuchus?
Let’s examine the evidence.
Exhibit A: The Twitter Avatar
A quick reverse-image search on @LindsayShookus’s Twitter avatar reveals it to be from a 2016 Marie Claire event called Power Trip. And while it’s precisely the kind of flattering, well-shot photograph anyone would be lucky to have for their social media profiles, it’s also one of the first results when searching her name on Google Images. An iPhone or MacBook selfie would have given her a little more credibility here.
Exhibit B: The Tweet
Though it’s common to see celebrities screenshot text written in Apple’s Notes app as a way of sharing important messages with their followers, the practice is typically reserved for younger stars with enormous social followings. It’s highly suspect that someone with just a handful of Twitter followers and access to her pick of media outlets would release their first statement via a new (and unverified) Twitter account.
What I’m trying to say is that if I wanted to troll the media world by creating a fake Lindsay Shookus Twitter account, I would absolutely tweet a Notes screengrab. Not because it’s believable, but because it’s hilarious.
Then there’s the statement itself. In addition to the strange language choices that feel like an imitation of professionalism (like using “very well known” instead of “popular”), the very fact that she acknowledges the relationship at all (“my relationship”) feels like she’s breaking Celebrity Dating Rule #1 (which is, for those who are unaware, “Never say shit about your rumored relationship!”) way too early.
Exhibit C: The DM Conversation
Here’s a question: Why would the person who released a statement meant to deny widespread reports of an affair not want the denial to be verified as coming from the subject of the accusations?
Here’s a better question: Why are you responding at all?
Exhibit D: The Follows
Of the first three accounts followed by @LindsayShookus, two were writers for People. Their names are—hold on, let me check.
Ah, it appears I can no longer access Lindsay Shookus’s Twitter account. Did Shookus block me? Did Shookus make her account private? Did Shookus do a shakedown?
Exhibit E: This
Here’s what happens when you visit twitter.com/LindsayShookus now.
Lindsay Shookus has better ways to comment on her personal life than by sharing Notes app screengrabs and sending DMs to strangers. I was not DMing with Lindsay Shookus.