On January 19, Star magazine's cover blared, "Katie DRUG SHOCKER!" accompanied by the words "ADDICTION NIGHTMARE." In a "world exclusive," the magazine spoke with several former Scientologists, who claimed that having an auditing treatment produces an effect "similar to heroin!" Former Scientologist and engineering student Arnaldo Lerma told the magazine:
"For me, it was like taking a Percocet. My pupils would dilate a little bit. But then there would be a sag effect after, a hangover of sorts… Like a heroin addict, you want another dose, only it's a dose of auditing."
Star used this bit of information, along with some pictures of Holmes looking ever-so-slightly tired, to create a "DRUG SHOCKER" article, complete with photographic "evidence." You'll find this simply unbelievable, but a woman's face looks different when she's being photographed without her knowledge, when compared to smiling and posing for the camera. While the magazine never claimed that Katie Holmes was actually on drugs, she is pissed. Her attorney tells TMZ: "Star Magazine's malicious claims about Katie are untrue, unethical and unlawful. Not only do they cruelly defame Katie, they play a cheap trick on the public, making ridiculously false claims on the cover unsupported by anything inside." Holmes is suing for a whopping $50 million, and her lawyer snipes, "Someone should bring a class action to get all buyers their money back."
Since we started doing Midweek Madness in 2007, we've learned to read the stories in the celebrity weeklies very closely; the articles generally range from facts to rumors to convoluted, sensationalized half-truths. And when a story comes from an unnamed "source" or a "friend," how do you know it's not true? Taking legal action doesn't guarantee satisfaction: David Beckham sued In Touch for claiming that he cheated on his wife with a call girl named Irma; that case was thrown out. It's obvious that sometimes the weeklies have actual juicy news, but sometimes they manufacture it, to survive on the newsstand. For every John Edwards lovechild scandal the Enquirer breaks, there are scores of "Bat Boy"-esque ridiculously untruthful tales. Since we know that the tabloids enhance and embellish celebrity "news," can we actually be shocked/offended/defamed when they do so? Big question: Does Katie have a case? Maybe. The editors should have stuck with "ADDICTION" and left the word "DRUGS" off of the cover. "Oh my God I'm so addicted" is such a common phrase these days — whether you're talking about cookies, couture or cocaine — that it might make for an actual defense. But using the word DRUGS when no drugs were involved stretches truth so far that it snaps.