Welcome to Jezebel Inquires, a very serious tabloid broadsheet about very serious things, like Sharon Osbourne’s ongoing facelift reveal, or the ratio of cigarette ash to tinted moisturizer that comprises the Olsen twins. This week, the royals are once again steeped in a quagmire of shit while the press cycle concerning Justin Timberlake’s allegedly infidelity begins to eat itself—sort of like the Ouroboros! Kate Beckinsale might be shacking up with Jamie Foxx, Demi Lovato’s friends are still a bunch of haters, and Ben Affleck can’t stop googling sexy pictures of himself.
Did you know that Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s ongoing feud is definitely not a distraction from their husbands’ schoolyard squabble or Prince Andrew’s proclivity for hanging out with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein? It’s especially not a distraction from the extremely ill-received interview Andrew gave to the BBC’s Newsnight, in which he claimed Epstein’s house was just “a convenient place to stay” for him—never mind the alleged sex trafficking victims said to have been held in the same house, or accuser Virginia Roberts’s claim that she was forced by Epstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17.
Us Weekly reports that “multiple sources” have confirmed that the “ongoing” feud between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton has officially ruined the royals’ Christmas plans. While rumors of their beef have cooled in recent weeks, the Sussexes’ “shocking decision” to spend Christmas away from the palace has insiders claiming the Queen and Middleton might “never forgive them.” One source says: “Two years ago, the four of them had one of the most fun holidays ever. Now, the brothers are barely on speaking terms, and Kate and Meghan don’t see eye to eye. It’s so sad to see how far they’ve drifted apart.” Sad indeed!
But is that even the story here? Tensions in the palace are expected, especially with a royal family as scandal-prone as this one. But it’s hard to believe this supposed beef is positioned as a bigger story than the one about Prince Andrew, who continues to deny knowing what Epstein was really up to—even despite mounting evidence to the contrary!
Buried throughout this week’s issue are advertisements for The Royals Monthly, a recently launched “magazine” from publisher American Media. It apparently contains some truly illuminating journalism, like: “Prince Andrew: Villain or Victim?” and “Is Meghan Markle Modernizing the Monarchy or a Royal Pain?” These same ads also appeared in In Touch, Ok!, Radar Online, and Closer; all properties of American Media.
Launching a new print venture, especially in 2019, is expensive. Circulation costs are up while readership is down. And few things really drive people to the tabloid newsstands these days like the British royals. This is evident, of course, in the numerous SEO headlines the family generates daily, or the staggering amounts of “Shop Kate Middleton’s Favorite Brand” advertorials Us Weekly churns out. Us Weekly is also the most widely-read American Media tabloid, with an average circulation of almost 2 million, per the Alliance for Audited Media. If you were promoting your fancy new magazine to the largest base of your readers—a magazine that hinges on a deference to the “opulence,” “pageantry,” “glamour,” and “heritage” of the British royal family—you probably wouldn’t lead with a story about the allegations of rape and pedophilia being leveled against Prince Andrew!
Here’s my theory: The royals’ continued presence on the American gossip circuit relies on the continued public interest in their lives, romantic choices, and clothing. Were tabloids to officially poison the well, and Us Weekly lead with a story about the Prince Andrew allegations, interest in The Royals Monthly—or clicking through that affiliate link on an article about Middleton’s many hats—might wane. And in this precarious print journalism climate, budgets are tight as is! So instead, I can envision a scenario where certain major tabloids might relegate the “juicier” gossip to their lesser brands, like In Touch! With a circulation barely scraping 270,000, far fewer people would see this week’s cover story: “Prince Andrew Scandal Explodes! It’s worse than the queen knows! Lies, payoffs, and sex trafficking. More on his confession to the FBI. Kate wants him kicked out of the palace!” In doing so, this theoretical media company could cash in on the royals’ deep public cachet, while also pandering to American entertainment journalism’s obsession with scandal and drama. If one were to do that, it would be pretty smart, if ethically dubious!
Remember Sharon Osbourne? In Touch reports that she’s beefing with blog troll and generally bad man Bob Lefsetz, who called her husband a “cartoon character” in a recent newsletter. According to sources, Osbourne responded with an email that essentially slow-roasted the notable turkey, just in time for Thanksgiving! “You are the typical LA brown nose that wants to get on the bandwagon. Stay in your lane. If you mention millennials one more fucking time, I’m going to puke!” In its death throes, the turkey retorted: “Ozzy cheats on you.” Rude! Sources claim she’s particularly sensitive about cheating rumors concerning her husband, but also: “She’s known for serving the best revenge.” You should stuff him next, Sharon!
In Touch also claims that Kate Beckinsale and Jamie Foxx are Hollywood’s newest couple. Sources allegedly saw the pair “get cozy at a Golden Globes bash in LA on November 15,” claiming: “They’re into each other, and they’re not hiding it. [They] were flaunting it for all to see at the party. The chemistry is off the charts, and they’re seeing where it goes.” Jamie Foxx would certainly be an upgrade for Beckinsale, who was previously shackled to former bleach job and alleged big dick-haver Pete Davidson. More than anything, I’m looking forward to ex Katie Holmes’s triumphant comeback when [checks notes] “Untitled Ilene Chaiken/Melissa Scrivner-Love/Fox Project” releases sometime next year. Moving on, and moving up!
There’s also reports in this week’s Star that Demi Lovato is “smitten” with new boo Austin Wilson, even if her friends aren’t. A source claims: “He’s not exactly the nice, straitlaced boyfriend she should be with. The concern is that Demi will slide back into her old ways.” Demi, meanwhile is “crazy about him” because “she’s always been attracted to edgy guys,” and that the two are “enjoying a simple life together.” My advice to the friends? Demi’s path towards an Austin Wilson-less future will likely begin when you stop selling stories about Demi to the tabloids. Just something to consider!
I also love the beautiful irony in this Ok! spread dropping the same week JT is accused of fucking around without his wedding ring on: “Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel: How They Make It Work!” Before donning our collective tin hat, let me assure readers that this story was finalized at least a week before the photographs were leaked by The Sun. Bummer! The real beauty lies in the peril of being a famous person who somewhat relies on glowing press about your marriage to maintain a shred of relevancy. Here is just a sampling of the sort of press this couple gets. With this glowing, idealistic frame on their marriage—of course photographs of JT’s ring-free hand sliding up his co-star’s thigh at a boozy, after-hours work event are going to land like dynamite! As for Biel, I suggest she hurry and get her kid vaccinated, if only so she can flee the press attention with him abroad without the fear he might spread some plague amongst the residents of the tropical island she escapes to!
Normally I would meticulously document the many befuddling outfits in which ever-more numerous famous people strut around Los Angeles. But this week, I simply don’t have it in me to say anything other than: Life & Style, how fucking dare you run an entire spread on Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent-lite rebranding of the once-great house of Céline, when Phoebe Philo still doesn’t have a job and rich art gallerists across the world are having to suffer a shortage of paper-bag pants and longline blazers? It’s an abominable editorial decision!
These looks seem like the sort of thing teen fan fiction authors might describe their characters in, were they to write Gossip Girl AU about fancy Upper East Side parties. Also, every single outfit pictured is hideous in a way my brain cannot fully process. The slit on Amy Adams’s cinched gown is exceedingly cheap, and the ruched bodice looks like an ill-informed Valentino rip-off. Natalie Portman’s pants are fine, if not for the poor tailoring causing them to bunch at the crotch. Reese Witherspoon’s golden boob cage cuts her proportions off, the inseam on Charlize Theron’s pants looks like it’s splitting.
Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, has been forced into another bedazzled boob cage, while Allison Williams’s dress looks like something an evil real estate agent might wear in a Lifetime movie. Nicole Kidman is cozy, but those boots look like flippers. And I refuse to engage with the concept of a black skater dress with ostrich feathers tacked on to the sleeves. You deserve better, Selena! Brie Larson is perhaps the only victim here who manages to escape relatively unscathed—the booths are nice, and it’s hard to make a blazer like that look atrocious. Julianne Moore’s two-piece, however, looks like the sort of funeral attire for an Atlantic City hotel lounge singer. Sad, bad, and entirely underwhelming! If you need me, I’ll be sitting here in the dark, crying into pictures of Celine FW 2015. Don’t mind me!
Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood were seen yodeling it up at the 2019 Country Music Awards, while Kristen Stewart and Elizabeth Banks cozied up at the premiere for a movie nobody will watch. Gal Gadot ate pizza, Emilia Clarke celebrated a birthday, and Gigi Hadid saddled up in some cowboy boots for a night on the town with Kacey Musgraves. Fun! Ozuna partied at Pepsi’s Super Bowl LIV sneak peek social stop at the iHeart Fiesta Latina in Miami. Mandy Moore walked a sponsored step and repeat, Fergie rocked out in Disneyland, and Chantel Jeffries posed with a birthday cake three times the size of her body.
Elsewhere: Naomi Campbell was photographed with a dog, Tobey Maguire grabbed some green juice, and some people from that one show everyone was apathetic about reunited. Rita Ora hung out with Prince William. Devon “It’s actually really hard for thin, white, blonde models” Windsor married Johnny Dex Barbara. Snooze! Katy Perry debuted a shocking clown transformation at the OnePlus Music Festival. Worst of all, Eva Marcille celebrated her birthday at The Sugar Factory. At least they probably paid!
I won’t be running In Touch’s latest blind item, as it concerns actors attending AA meetings. Considering the privacy those at AA expect to be afforded when they take steps to seek treatment, it’s downright gross to speculate. Let’s move on!
- Sources claim Anna Farris is acting like a “bridezilla” while planning her wedding with fiancee Michael Barrett. She allegedly wants her nuptials to be “even more extravagant” than Chris Pratt’s. This apparently includes: “several designer dresses, expensive floral arrangements, and a seven-tier cake.” Sounds fine to me! [Life & Style]
- Khloe Kardashian allegedly feels “blindsided” by Lamar Odom’s engagement to personal trainer Sabrina Parr. It tracks with earlier rumors that she and Lamar were “exploring” the possibility of getting back together after her split with Tristan Thompson, although the chances of this actually happening are now more unlikely than ever. Sorry, Koko! [Ok!]
- Ben Affleck allegedly has a photo on his Raya profile where you can clearly see he screenshotted the Google search result for “ben affleck sexy pictures,” according to an anonymous source who matched with him. Can Jennifer Garner please teach this man how to download photographs? [In Touch]
- In other Kardashian news, sources claim Kourtney is finally moving on from the long-running television show that has paid for her many expenditures, like recently-launched lifestyle site Poosh. According to a tipster: “The truth is, she isn’t getting any younger. It’s one of those now-or-never situations.” Sure! [Life & Style]