The British Royal soap opera continues with fantastic and implausible plot twists, if you believe this week’s fact-challenged tabloids.
Prince Andrew’s links with suicide pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has the ‘Globe’ imagining ‘Mission Impossible’ style exploits to protect the Royal Family.
“Andrew Sex Scandal Witness Vanishes!” proclaims the ‘Globe’ cover, and inside the headline promises: “Andrew’s Twisted French Connection!”
No, he’s not smuggling cocaine, which would at least be belated proof of his usefulness as a British trade ambassador.
Rather, French modeling agency boss Jean-Luc Brunel, who “discovered" Christy Turlington, Mila Jovovich, Jerry Hall and Angie Everhart, “is dead - or running for his life,” having reportedly disappeared after being “accused of recruiting teen girls for twisted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.”
But that’s not all.
“Now US intelligence sources speculate the British MI6 hit team that killed Epstein also snuffed the fashion guru before he could blab to French lawyers about Andrew,” reports the ‘Globe,’ making quite an allegation for man they aren’t even sure is dead.
The ‘Globe’ has evidently taken last week’s wildly speculative theory that MI6 infiltrated the New York prison to murder Epstein and fake his suicide, and has now enshrined it as fact, before leaping to the conclusion that Brunel must have been axed by the same hit squad.
All of this to save the Royal Family, because Andrew’s scandal “could kill the monarchy!”
No it couldn’t. You’d be hard-pushed to find a single MI6 agent willing to lay down a ten quid note for Andrew, let alone lay down his life for the Royal who is so distant in the line of succession, and for years has served only as an embarrassment in British political and cultural circles, that he’d hardly be worth protecting.
The ‘National Enquirer’ cover is devoted to its favorite Royal villain Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with the headline: “Royal Nanny Tells All! Monster Meghan Exposed! Insults Kate & her kids. Demands separate beds. Uses baby to get her way.”
It’s a vicious attack of unsubstantiated gossip, attributed to an unidentified “former royal nanny.”
Unsurprisingly, royal nannies are obliged to sign iron-clad non-disclosure agreements, and in the long history of royal nannies they have been known to reveal little, except saccharine sentiments about how lovely their Royal wards were. A “former royal nanny” also would not be privy to private conversations inside Harry & Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage, which makes the whole story seem like fan fiction.
American royalty in the shape of Barack and Michelle Obama dominate the ‘Globe’ cover, with the oft-promised but never-delivered “Obama $150m Divorce Showdown! Michelle Storms Out!”
"She’s talking of leaving the marriage and starting up her own talk show,” says an unnamed source - as if the two are mutually exclusive.
And if Michelle is “talking of leaving the marriage,” then they’re hardly divorcing yet, are they? And they’re currently buying a $15 million beachfront estate in Martha’s Vineyard - is that really the action of a couple in the throes of divorce?
But inter-personal relationships aren’t exactly the speciality of the tabloids, whose reporters seems to have less understanding of human nature than the average fruit fly.
“Renée’s Got It Bad For Brad!” reports the ‘Enquirer,’ claiming that actress Renée Zellweger has “now set her sights on a new man - Brad Pitt!”
Not that they’re dating. Or have even met.
“She’s desperate for a way to get to know him properly, and is praying they’re both on the awards nominees list this season,” the ‘Enquirer’ reports. And that’s the give-away to the inspiration behind this story: reporters have gone through the list of possible Oscar nominees and asked: who’s single and we'd like to hook up? Journalism at its finest.
“Tubby Tom Jones Puts Down Bottle After Death Scare!” claims the ‘Enquirer.’
But has he? After beating a bacterial infection, the Welsh singer now drinks “just wine with dinner, a pint of beer once in a while!” Hardly putting down the bottle, then.
Catherine Zeta Jones and husband Michael Douglas have sold their estates in Bermuda and Spain “to be near his parents,” reports the ‘Enquirer.’ And they’ve sold their $20.5 million mansion in Westchester, NY, “for a smaller home nearby.” So they’ve moved from Westchester to near Westchester, all to be closer to his parents, who live in - Los Angeles? For whatever reasons they’re selling their homes overseas, it’s not to be closer to Kirk Douglas and his wife.
Screen legend Donald Sutherland comes in for the fantasy treatment with the ‘Globe’ story: “Shaky Sutherland at Death’s Door.” And then they spoil it all by showing Sutherland walking unaided through the streets of Italy as he attended the Venice Film Festival. Hardly on life support, is he?
‘Us’ magazine brings us the best in celebrity journalism with its fact-free cover story: “Hollywood’s Most Eligible Bachelors.” This is a summertime slow-news-week filler, featuring the usual suspects: Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Liam Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves . . . Nothing sexually objectifying to see here, move along . . .
‘People’ magazine devotes its cover to the talented actress “Viola Davis: How I Found My Strength.”
She grew up in extreme poverty and Hollywood made her wealthy, and if that doesn’t give you strength, nothing will. She tells her tale of “survival,” but it’s not as if she was working on the face of a coal mine. ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ gave Davis permission to see herself “as better or more than what you think you are,” and finding her husband was her “elixir of life.” Because every successful woman needs a man to complete her, right?
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Constance Wu wore it best, that singer Maluma loves “eating take-out food,” that TV’s 20/20 co-anchor Amy Robach keeps chewing gum, hand sanitizer and running shoes in her Vera Bradley tote, and that the stars are just like us: they go to the beach, get a pedicure, hit the ATM, grocery shop and eat on the run. Oh, those wild and wacky celebrities.
Onwards and downwards . . .