Welcome to Jezebel’s Midweek Madness, where local menace Joan Summers has received a mysterious package in the mail. A strange and anonymous person in a trench coat, fake mustache, and Party City wig delivered it to my front door this morning. Inside the package is a letter that reads: “Don’t print lies. We’ll be watching.”

That sounds ominous! And while we’re ignoring my creeping dread that I’ve possibly made an enemy of the Powers That Be: let’s dive in.

Ok!:

As my readers know, I’m never at a loss for rude comments concerning Vogue = cover stars Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I initially flipped to the “Love & Heartbreak” section of the tabloid to find the blurb shown on the cover above. After scouring the magazine for over 20 minutes, I had yet to find even the slightest mention of the newlyweds. As a last ditch effort, I poured over the directory hoping to find a page number. And then I saw it. I couldn’t tell you what happened next, but I know for certain I blacked out. Witnesses claim that the screaming didn’t stop for hours.

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But 3 days have passed now and I’m ready to share my experience. After publishing a cover story in April concerning an “imminent divorce after 117 days of marriage,” Ok! has been forced to offer a retraction. The statement reads:

Clarification: In its issue dated April 8, 2019, we published an article reporting that Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas were “divorcing after 117 days of marriage,,” including that headline, among other details, on its cover. In fact, Mr. Jonas and Ms. Chopra Jonas are and have been happily married, with the love and support of their family and friends, and never had and have no plans to divorce. OK! regrets any insinuation that may have resulted from its publication of the article. OK! wishes the happy newlyweds well.

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While retractions for clarity and truth are fully within the rights of anyone in the public eye, let’s consider American Media’s catalog: Us Weekly, Star, OK!, Radar, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style, National Enquirer, and Globe. Now, I parse through an overwhelming quantity of “rumors” and “allegations” and “sources” for a living. If every single tall tale on the cover of just one of these tabloids were put to task: the entire publication would be backlogged with retractions for weeks! Do I condone printing blatant lies? Absolutely not. But! I do find it fascinating that Priyanka Chopra Jonas has chosen to step outside the designated lane of the rich and famous for this particular rumor. What’s that age old adage? Don’t fan the flames? Don’t chase gossip if you don’t want to draw attention to it? Don’t comment if you don’t want the story printed in the first place? Ignore your Twitter mentions before you get ratioed? Don’t indulge Instagram comments lest Shade Room screenshots you? I could go on!

It’s no secret that I often puzzle over the dynamic between the press and the celebrities we frequently offer platforms too. On one hand, It’d be impossible to argue that celebrities don’t abuse their access to consistent tabloid press for fame and wealth. It’d be equally impossible to argue that tabloids don’t misappropriate the access they’re offered to enrich themselves on scandal as well. Moreso, in the world of pop culture reporting, there’s unspoken understandings about the celebrities that “do press” and those that don’t. Beyoncé and Adele, for instance, don’t “do press.” Priyanka Chopra Jonas absolutely does. Here’s a quick list of her most recent headlines from Us Weekly alone:

So while I’m not defending OK! for allegedly publishing a false cover story on the state of the Chopra-Jonas’ marriage, I do think it’s clear that she’s monetized her personal life for personal gain. Therefore, it tracks that she’d break from the pack to demand this retraction. It also speaks to the priorities concerning their marriage’s public image. Why? In February, Page Six ran a story alleging that Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Meghan Markle are no longer friends after the Sussex’“snubbed” the highly publicized Jonas wedding. A source claimed:

“Their friendship is over unless Meghan apologizes. Priyanka is a huge international star with a tremendous social media following. She is probably more famous worldwide than Meghan is. She feels Meghan didn’t respect her, and didn’t respect their friendship.”

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A second, anonymous source countered:

There are no issues between the two women. They are friends, and anything you’re being told otherwise is inaccurate and untrue.

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Priyanka, who went on Watch What Happens Live! a month later, issued her only public statement on the matter with a laugh and an eye roll. She even seemed unbothered by the rumors completely.

Maybe my third eye is a little too wide open, but the Page Six “exclusive” seems infinitely more damning of the couple’s character than a cover story on a magazine that routinely publishes issues detailing Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s alleged marriage and love child. But when you’ve made your marketability about a hyper-visible love life, it makes sense that you’d circle the wagons when your cash flow is threatened. After all, it is fully 1956 in Tabloidland and embarrassing divorces would sully your reputation forever! The question that remains, then, is if we’ll see photos of the Duchess and Chopra Jonas at The Ivy amidst the Royal California Takeover. If so, I’ll gladly throw myself off this shortest high horse imaginable as penance.

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What else?

  • According to sources, men see Charlize Theron as “hostile.” Same, Charlize!
  • Brandi Glanville and LeAnn Rimes have finally ended the feud that launched the most successful reality show of the decade.
  • Batten down the hatches: sources claim Adele is “back in the studio.”
  • Who are the sources claiming Selena Gomez is “close friends” with Justin Theroux, and is doing her best to keep it “strictly platonic”? Show yourself, so I can put you in gossip jail.
  • Every story has already been told before, so it’s no surprise that pesky tipsters are claiming recently successful woman Brie Larson is “holier than thou” and “self important” and “rude” and “snappy” and “acts like she rules the franchise.” I can smell the sweaty nerds from the other side of this “gossip.”
  • Kacey Musgraves wore it better.
  • Zac Efron debuted his noticeably un-blonde wax figure on Ellen.

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In Touch:

This is certainly a change of pace! Let’s catch up. After transforming Waco, TX into a nexus of Christianity and suburbanization, “Chip & Jo” were handed the keys to their very own digital shopping mall: a television station! The Magnolia Network (an offshoot of an existing Discovery channel property) will feature rustic lighting, shiplap, prosperity gospel teachings, and an “inside look” at their everyday lives. Sounds terrible! Further, “insiders” are claiming that the couple have decided on a sixth child. And before you ask, the answer is yes: In Touch did take the time to rudely mention Joanna’s age and “shrinking window.” It’s not just politicians and your ugly cousin on Facebook! Gossip outlets also love discussing women’s bodies by their proximity to the act of human birth. There’s also a rundown of their latest capitalist ventures, including: Magnolia Market (strip mall), Magnolia Table (“New American” restaurant), and Magnolia House (bed and breakfast.) I was also shocked to learn that famous nicknames J.Lo and A-Rod hired the couple to re-do their massif, $6.6 million mansion in Malibu. Publicity! But in the most shocking revelation, sources close to the family claim that Jo is looking to be the “next big momager” in the “good old-fashioned family values market.”

TV or not, the kids are drawn to their parents’ work in show biz. [...] “They enjoy what Chip and Jo do,” says an insider. “They love the lights, the cameras, the crew. The kids will likely follow in their parents’ footsteps, and Chip & Jo are fine with that. She won’t push her kids, but [...] she knows her kids are adorable and fans love seeing them.”

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Yikes! I’d wish them the best on their journey but I refuse to condemn our planet to existing inside a Home Goods Magnolia Market commercial. Stop them at any cost!

Elsewhere, Sofia Richie (allegedly) got a nose job and an ombré, Lisa Vanderpump referred to Dorit Kemsley as a “stupid cow”, and some Bachelor somebodies are feuding. Charlize Theron debuted some bangs while Taylor Swift became the BeyHive’s latest target (again.) My favorite news of the month, however, is Paula Abdul’s fedora putting Julianne Hough in a neck brace. I’m also dreading the upcoming Beverly Hills 90210 reboot and the reemergence of Tori Spelling as a tabloid fixture. Lucky for her, though, because American Media, Inc. will surely take a break from digging through her finances to discuss her thoughts on Luke Perry’s tragic death. Pray for me! There’s also a deranged, norm-core interview with Colton Underwood and anthropomorphic Free People dress Cassie Randolph. Let’s dive in!

In Touch: “Any timeline on getting engaged?”

Coltssie: “We talk about our future and everything.”

In Touch: How’s life been since the show ended?

Coltssie: “We’re still trying to [...] live a simple normal life. Yeah.” (My normal also includes shilling weight loss supplements on the cover of In Touch.)

In Touch: Cassie, you live in the same building as Colton’s third runner up, Caelynn Miller-Keyes (???). What’s that like?

Cassie: It is pretty weird!

In Touch: Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Colton: “Jennifer Aniston. [Cassie] is getting concerned.”

In Touch: What’s your guilty pleasures?

Cassie: “I like these things called Takis. They’re like a Hot Cheeto.”

A few takeaways before we move on: These people have no idea how to be alone together and it’s absolutely stressful that she lives in a Valley Village apartment complex with a fellow contestant. What the hell is going on in the Bachelor Nation?

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Tipsters also claim that Mossimo for Target and Aunt Becky’s marriage is “crumbling” as the disgraced Hallmark Channel star refuses to accept her looming prison sentence. I’m also delighted to see my blind item predictions actualize. As I reported earlier this month, speculation surrounding Ryan Seacrest’s future at American Idol has intensified after Bobby Bones stepped in for the longtime host. Blind items on Bones’ career “ambitions” then surfaced (which many readers guessed correctly.) Now, In Touch is reporting a rumored exit for Seacrest- claiming he wants to focus on his radio presence and Live With Kelly and Ryan. I’m sending my love to Kelly Ripa in this moment!

  • Derek Hough teaches Zumba now.
  • Bella Thorne partied on a trampoline at the #AeroBeachHouse “while celebrating the Aeropostale x Repreve eco-friendly denim collection.”
  • Let’s stop indulging the wedding content surrounding chaos merchants and beer cheese barons Jax & Brittany Taylor.
  • Jaden Smith will portray an alternate-universe version of Kanye West in a new Showtime limited series called Omniverse.

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As for this week’s blind item:

“This celebrity couple is strapped for cash, but they have a plan. Taking a page out of Kris Jenner’s successful momager playbook, they’ve stooped to using their kids in hopes of bringing in some much needed cash flow. The plan had better work, otherwise mom and dad will be in jail!”

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This is absolutely Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott.

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Life & Style:

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Every so often, I’m handed a cover story that is so deranged and convoluted that I black out from the excitement. That happened twice this week. For anyone in need of a quick refresher, you can catch up on Jennifer Lawrence’s engagement here. As for the rest of us: let’s dive in! According to the menaces that run Life & Style, we’re informed that the current list of famouses at war for “Maid of Honor” include: Emma Stone, Amy Schumer, Kim Kardashian, Adele, and…Lady Gaga? Can Cooke Maroney even afford half of their press appearance fees? But besides that, I’m stunned that anyone could believe Lady Gaga is even on her list of bridesmaids as the only known photograph I could find of the pair is a Snapchat photo. As for the other choices, we’ll break it down in a metatextual sense. Let’s hear it for the Heterosexual Wedding Industrial Complex (HWIC)!

Adele:

  • Pros: Takes you out to gay bars to get trashed and party with drag queens. Will force you into Donna Summers karaoke and buy you lots of shots. Recently divorced and ready to party.
  • Cons: Elusive and private. Takes a day to text you back. Has a lot on her plate. Recently divorced and will probably cry when performing the sacred duties demanded by the HWIC.

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Kim Kardashian:

  • Pros: Sponsored by every thirsty brand imaginable, meaning you might pay for very little. Has a glam squad larger than your extended family. Has a television show which pays for luxury vacations.
  • Cons: She’ll turn your wedding into a #SponCon monstrosity. Could possibly make it about herself at the various bridal events and reception. Will absolutely take longer than you to get ready.\

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Amy Schumer:

  • Pros: Could possibly deliver the best reception speech of the bunch. Has jokes. Down for anything.
  • Cons: Has jokes.

Emma Stone:

  • Pros: Your spiritual twin. Finishes your sentences and always knows what you need. Will carry a pack of tissues in her purse so you don’t ruin your makeup crying. Understands your need to re-watch That One Movie You Both Like 300 times.
  • Cons: The intimacy of your relationship might foster jealousy because as the HWIC demands, women are unable to have multiple deep friendships.

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I’m also obsessed with the cover story’s framing of Kim Kardashian as a women trying to “worm her way into J-Laws life.” According to the source:

The reality star’s friendship with Jennifer grew after the actress became close with Kris Jenner, 63. During one boozy group dinner at the momager’s house, J-Law even stripped naked and asked Kim, 38, and husband Kanye West, 41, to style her. Flash forward two years later and Kim decided it’d be a good idea to “suggest that Kanye design the bridesmaids dresses. That went over with a big thud- no one said a thing. All you heard were crickets in the room. Kim took that as a no.”

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Frankly, the mental image of Adele, Kim Kardashian, Emma Stone, Amy Schumer, and Lady Gaga lined up in matching Yeezy bodysuits will carry me through my next depression cycle. Thanks Life & Style!

What else:

  • Adam Sandler had a pizza party at an Italian villa with George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston.
  • Jenna Dewan revealed she uses makeup wipes.
  • Everyone is still wearing Gucci.
  • A tipster has allegedly seen an Adele (catfish) on Tinder.
  • Zoey Dutch was photographed fondling Megan Mullally’s breasts.
  • A note: I will not be indulging the rumors of “on set drama” between the cast of Big Little Lies.
  • It makes perfect sense that Megan Fox is a Taurus.
  • Nev Schulman is “really into” getting Botox injections under his armpits.

Enjoy this week’s collage!