This Week In Tabloids: #FreeBritney Isn't an Illuminati Conspiracy. It's a Capitalist Tragedy!

Welcome to Jezebel’s Midweek Madness, where local menace Joan Summers is reporting on location amidst the devastation and chaos caused by the #FreeBritney conspiracy “movement.” What secrets will I find buried in the wreckage here at the edge of the internet?

Let’s find out!

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In Touch:

Look at all my least favorite topics! Considering that Brad Pitt did not give a single quote to In Touch, why not explore the depths of human darkness personified in Tom Cruise and his personal life? What are the girls gossiping about today? Suri Cruise, his daughter with Katie Holmes, has just turned 13. And as she gets older, many blogs and outlets continue to speculate what her relationship to her father will look like when she’s old enough to understand the situation between her parents. Worse: according to official records, he hasn’t seen his daughter in over 6 years. This would normally amount to meaningless speculation (like you’re reading here currently.) But this year, there’s an unforeseen twist that has the potential to shake up our understanding of Tom Cruise’ daily life inside of Scientology. In Clearwater, Florida, the Church’s headquarters, a bar owner is suing Cruise after claiming he’s been harassed by private detectives for years. (Similar allegations against Scientology are numerous.) Clay Irwin, who RadarOnline also reports is filing his lawsuit in the near future, alleges that he has been secretly filmed, assaulted, and stalked by anonymous goons for 3 years.

Photo: We’re all Nicole Kidman in this moment.

It began, he says, when he shared photographs of Cruise’s then under construction townhouse in 2016. The bar he owns is across the street, and according to Irwin (according to InTouch), that too has been under “constant surveillance.” Looks like I’ll be refreshing Clearwater’s court website in anticipation of the lawsuit’s official filings. My favorite kind of surprise album! And before we move on, I’d like to point out the sexist standard at work in the way tabloids discuss estranged parents. In Touch swaddles Cruise’s parenting skills in the language of an outlet who’s afraid to rock the boat. Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman has a blurb that accuses her of being a horrible mother over comments she made to Vanity Fair. Leave Kidman alone!

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Elsewhere, Chris Hemsworth faced claims that he couldn’t spell his own name and Brody Jenner made a desperate grab at press attention, Rachel Brosnahan went blonde, and newly appointed Hillsong spokeswoman Katherine Schwarzenegger showed off her veneers. Rami “I promise I didn’t know Bryan Singer was a notorious alleged pedophile” Malek posed with Martha Stewart at the Time 100 Gala, where the Grande Dame of Homemaking revealed she had “no idea” who Chip & Joanna Gaines were. At WE Day California, Meghan Trainor performed in a tracksuit and Natalie Portman asserted she was a vegan because “dairy and eggs don’t just come from cows and chickens, they come from female cows and female chickens. We’re exploiting female bodies and the magic of female animals.” Fun! Britney Spears, recovering from the intense public scrutiny wrought by #FreeBritney, allegedly turned down an exclusive with Dr. Phil. (Who hasn’t?) Former bleach job Pete Davidson has ended things with Kate Beckinsale. And worse, rumors surfaced in late April that Kevin Hunter was allegedly poisoning Wendy Williams. An anonymous called phoned authorities requesting a welfare check sometime in January, with later reports revealing that cops had also settled a domestic despite during Wendy’s exit from their shared home. I cannot stress enough how much I’m rooting for Wendy. Also, Ashley Green and Diana Ross’s daughter-in-law, Ashlee Simpson-Ross, “sat pretty while sipping CIROC’s Limited Edition Summer Watermelon at the CIROC Summer House at Korakia Pensione.”

For a palate cleanser, why not enjoy this helpful list of celebrities who use their vast wealth to flip houses and raise housing prices across Los Angeles?

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  • Ellen Degeneres: Her “side hustle” with wife Portia de Rossi involves “[buying] a house, and then we get a little bored. So, if I find something else we make money, then why not move to another house?”
  • Jeremy Renner: The gig economy even comes for the famous! I can also imagine needing something to sustain yourself during the long breaks between Avengers cameos.
  • Jennifer Aniston: Having made millions flipping homes across America, the hydration expert and luxury bottled water spokeswoman claimed: “There’s something about picking out fabrics and finishes that feeds my soul.”
  • Scott Disick: This notable creep (and dater of women he met as teenagers) gets to “finally show the world that I actually do work” with his new reality show, Flip It Like Disick.
  • Diane Keaton: In between cashmere purchases and picking up her turtleneck-laden drycleaning, the frequent supporter of Woody Allen admitted “I always had an interest in homes and the compact of home, but the problem is I never really land and stay.” Her specialty? “Historic renos.” Real estate lingo!
  • Sharon Osbourne: Her short lived stint on WE tv, Sharon Flipping Osbourne, was her chance to reveal that she flips homes and is “damn good at it.” Hopefully she can make that messaging stick someday!
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Ok!:

Considering Meghan Markle recently gave birth in London (and is reportedly shopping for a second home in California), rumors that she’s been banished to another continent don’t feel urgent to report on. And with my all-knowing gossip columnist sixth sense, I feel like we’d rather follow up on the aftermath of #FreeBritney. For the first time ever, tabloids are addressing the long-standing rumors that it wasn’t just her dad that led to her short stint in a mental health facility. As many blogs have reported in the past, tickets sales were allegedly struggling to meet past expectations and there were problems with her medication dosages. As I’ve also posited, I do believe that the #FreeBritney “movement” pulled an Illuminati-esque conspiracy out of a capitalist tragedy. Through studying (and reporting on) the circumstances surrounding her conservatorship, it seems clear that all involved have accepted this as the necessary situation at hand.

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Britney Spears grew up in the industry, lived her whole life under the direct management of executives and her father, and never experienced the freedom of anonymity. What does it accomplish to summarize her conservatorship as an elaborate scheme designed in shadowy boardrooms by the powers that be? Instead of falling into the common trapping of conspiracy, I find it much more effective to look at this through the prism of capitalism and its effects on personhood and identity. What must it be like to grow up in a family where your parents have monetized your body and personality? How do we reckon with a society that allows family members and businesses to strip individuals of their rights in the name of profit and wealth accumulation? And how can we, the consumers of Britney’s art and legacy, destroy the institutions that allowed such evils to be inflicted on her in the first place? Big questions! Very few answers!

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Meanwhile, Martha Stewart DJ’d, Tyra Banks stepped out in a beret, and the newest Bachelor alumni continue finding ways to insert their love lives in the tabloids. (They still aren’t living together!) Anderson Cooper claimed Andy Cohen’s baby is “already judgemental,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus keeps her Emmys under the bed, and Kelly Clarkson made a point to tell her children about the farce of the Easter Bunny. She’s “tired of giving credit to non-existent things.” Foucault is shaking!

Rumors are swirling that Poosh is already at the center of the latest Kardashian feud after Kourtney hired ex-assistant Stephanie Shepherd to write a column about... something? Boring! I’m also obsessed with the fact that Kanye West’s clear grab at a business opportunity has backfired in the mainstream press. In the wake of his “Sunday service” at Coachella, many are left wondering if the $225 “Praise God” sweatshirts prove that his newfound spirituality is the Kardashians’ latest scheme to revitalize his public image. Regardless, you’ve all heard the camel and the eye of the needle so I’ll spare you my usual theatrics!

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Life & Style:

I won’t even indulge the wedding bell rumors, considering there isn’t a photograph in sight (and representatives have denied it). Instead, why not follow up on Miley Cyrus and her new bangs? After licking her husband in public and releasing some music, she showed up to the Avengers: Endgame premiere to support her brother-in-law. According to sources, she was “hardly subtle about her desire to be the most photographed person at the Avengers premiere.” Liam Hemsworth, meanwhile, was “so embarrassed and he lost it with her afterward.” But the claims that it was their “first major fight as a married couple?” I have to laugh!

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There are also troubling reports surrounding Miranda Lambert’s recent marriage to an Instagram-famous cop. What’s interesting about this marriage is not just its extremely condensed timeline, but the fact that both live in separate states and rarely see each other due to the 5-month-old he fathered while cheating on his fiancé with a lawyer, who gave birth shortly after he met (and married) Lambert. A mess!

What else? Brie Larson officially has a “Top 10 Brie Larson Looks,” Rita Ora wore it better (again) and Jennifer Lopez stepped out with a $150,000 crocodile skin Birkin Bag. Seth Rogen, in a middling romcom, dissed Jennifer Aniston for never having successfully made the transition from TV to film star (true). The EyeLove™ ambassador is allegedly pissed. Sources claim Melissa McCarthy, recent Oscar nominee, is “leaving Hollywood” to raise her kids somewhere “normal, with values like education.” While I will always support an escape from L.A., I doubt this transition completely. I’d also like to officially begin the manhunt for the jaded ex-employee selling stories in which they claim Beyoncé is a bad boss. Not only does this directly contradict the numerous (and documented) former employees and collaborators that have praised her work ethic and professionalism, it’s clearly linked to her recent snub of Reebok. I can’t explain how I know this, but I’ve never felt anything so deep in my soul!

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  • P!nk wore sequin pants, a flannel, a rhinestone bodysuit, and a tank top stitched together with clothespins.
  • Kendall Jenner claimed her sisters are “a lot curvier than her because they have boobs and I don’t have boobs.”
  • Anne Hathaway quit drinking because she “just loves alcohol so much” and has hangovers that last “5 days.”
  • Arie and Lauren, Bachelor somebodies, posed for some staged honeymoon photographs.
  • Lucy Hale shared her complex skincare routine: “I was my face!”
  • Luann De Lesseps “must have baubles”? The Countess Collection, available at SuperJeweler.com.
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Us Weekly:

How much input do I believe Britney Spears had in the making of this cover story? None. Will we mine the details for an architecture of the truth? Absolutely! The biggest “details” here concern her dad’s sickness: he almost died in October after his colon spontaneously ruptured. There’s also multiple sources “close to the story” that claim the conservatorship is not about money, but instead, genuine concern for Britney’s health. They cite multiple friends and family members that believe the constant guidance of Jamie Spears is keeping the pop star from being “non-compliant about taking her meds.” Even worse, they allege that a recent adjustment to her dosages led to “severe depression and mood swings.” (Having been there myself, I can only imagine what it must be like to endure these side-effects in the public eye.) But how much do we really believe the “sources close to Britney”?

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Knowing how the lines of communication between Us Weekly and celebrities work, it’s clear to me that these tipsters are members of Britney’s camp. Hiding behind the anonymity that a magazine like Us Weekly (or People) provides does lend legitimacy. If it was apparent it came from her press team we’d think they were controlling the narrative! And possibly worth mentioning is the language employed by the California court system in describing probate conservatorships: “conservatorships of adults who cannot take care of themselves and their finances.” Jamie Spears, as a probate conservator of both her persons and her estate, has a clear intention to “protect” his daughter’s income and wealth.

So if we assembled the disparate fragments of truth, the structure taking shape is one rooted in a team of people under the guidance of her father with the express duty of managing her estate and health. If her mental health fails, her estate suffers. So they’ll do anything they can to preserve that balance. Does this open the doorway to a reality where Britney Spears is stripped of her agency and voice? I feel comfortable taking that leap. But it could also mean the collection of people around her believe they’re saving Britney’s life by stripping her of the right to live as she pleases. I haven’t decided which is worse! It does make me sick, however, that many pop culture “conspiracies” are entered into a media landscape without the framework (or integrity) to see them as systems of capitalism. Too bad this gossip columnist is writing from the shortest high horse imaginable!

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What else?

  • Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani posed with the Ugly Dolls™.
  • Rita Wilson wore a hat.
  • Vanessa Hudgens shilled for SlimFast Keto™.
  • Madonna wore an eyepatch.
  • Olivia Jade might face criminal charges in the wake of rumors that she knew of the bribery scandal.
  • What’s in Sheryl Crow’s bag? Almonds, rose quartz, and Legos?

And that’s all I’ve got. Enjoy this week’s collage!

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