It’s been just two days since Joe Jonas filed for divorce from Sophie Turner, his wife of four years, and the media machine is whirring with the sights and sounds and incessant speculation of yet another celebrity marriage gone spoiled. Sometimes, it’s cheating rumors. Others, it’s a clash about procreating. In the case of Jonas and Turner, it seems the tabloids have settled on the same narrative—in short, that Turner has shirked her motherly duties in lieu of...turning up and that Joe is the Best Dad Ever™. The source? I have an idea and his name sounds like Schmoe Schonas.
On Sunday, two days before the divorce even hit the headlines, TMZ exclusively reported that the former couple—who share two young daughters—were likely to split. Then, on Tuesday, TMZ was the first outlet to confirm that Jonas filed the paperwork, that he’s been caring for their children “pretty much all of the time” while on tour, and that Turner “likes to party” while he “likes to stay home. Jonas, as Page Six wrote, is now in “dad mode.” Or, at least that’s how it appears, thanks to appropriately-timed paparazzi photos and reports of ring camera footage that apparently makes Turner look bad.
People fall out of love and get divorced every day—especially in Hollywood and even more so when at least one of those partners is 23 years old (Turner’s age when the pair eloped in Las Vegas). A parting of the hearts is hardly a punishable offense. But making your family’s private matters unnecessarily public by way of “anonymous sources” and “candid photos” in pitiable attempts to canonize yourself is thoroughly reprehensible. Frankly, I don’t care if Turner’s lifestyle involves some partying, nor would I give a shit if that alleged ring camera footage revealed Turner’s two middle fingers. The point is: Jonas is clearly working overtime to prove he’s the martyr in this failed marriage at the expense of his former partner and the mother of his children. The strategy—Jonas positing himself as a devoted dad just trying to keep it together as his soon-to-be ex comes undone—bears further scrutiny.
The news of divorce arrived as something of a shock considering just weeks earlier, Turner attended Jonas’ show and posted this seemingly sweet snap on Instagram. Jonas, too, honored her with a song at a gig three weeks before their impending divorce was reported. Shock, though, became skepticism in the days that followed as a suspicious number of stories regarding Turner’s “partying” began to circulate. First, came the photos and videos of her in a Birmingham bar that turned out to be a wrap party for a new ITV series, Joan, in which she stars. “Sophie Turner partied ‘without a care in the world’ just days before Joe Jonas divorce was announced...” proclaimed the Daily Mail. Page Six and TMZ followed suit, presenting Turner as the kind of mom who dares “down shots” after work (aka a cool one) and Jonas as the kind of dad that totes their toddlers around on a tour where he plays Disney Channel music to Millennial women (aka a lame one). The following day, the latter reported that “multiple sources with direct contact to Joe” pointed to footage and audio on the couple’s ring camera that was supposedly so damning it was the catalyst for Jonas to file for divorce. But the coup de grace arrived on Wednesday when a series of paparazzi photos—also published first by TMZ—with the same subtlety of these, show Jonas just...spending time with his own children. Which we’re seemingly meant to treat as indisputable evidence that he’s a “good” dad.
If the split is truly “amicable,” and all of the stories about their “different lifestyles” weren’t coming from the Jonas camp, wouldn’t the guy in “dad mode” feel compelled to defend the woman who made him one in the first place? Frankly, it should.
Meanwhile, with the exception of the couple’s joint statement, Turner has remained silent and hasn’t been seen since the divorce news broke—even when a new report suggests she has some grievances to air, too.
I won’t pretend to know a thing about divorce apart from it being complex and enduringly cruel—especially to kids. But I’m of the mind that treating your own as chess pieces and tattling to TMZ about their mother are grounds for revocation of that Best Dad Ever™ award.