T’is the season when the tabloids look into the future to forecast what lies ahead for a scandal-filled 2020 - and when are they ever wrong?
“Top psychics” tell the ‘National Enquirer’ predict that Celine Dion will survive a life-threatening accident, one of Mel Gibson’s children will suffer a near-fatal drug overdose, Jennifer Lopez’s Bel-Air mansion will burn down after a lightning strike, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston will spark a new romance, Jack Nicholson will suffer a health crisis, Johnny Depp will suffer a medical emergency, Tom Cruise will marry a Scientologist, and Matt Lauer will continue to be shut out of TV.
Intriguing forecasts, to be sure, but it’s far more entertaining to look back at the predictions made a year ago by the ‘Enquirer’ psychics anticipating what would happen in 2019.
It’s a spectacularly uninspiring record.
Among last year’s completely failed forecasts: Lady Gaga would wed fiancé Christian Carino in 2019 (they broke up in February), Matt Lauer would return to TV (we’re still waiting), Dolly Parton would leave husband Carl, and Gwen Stefani would split from Blake Shelton (they’re still happily together.).
Meghan Markle was to have a baby girl (it was a boy - the psychics had a 50-50 chance of getting this right, and failed) and would announce she was pregnant again within two months of the birth (six months later we’re still waiting), Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk would have a second baby (they split instead in June), Chrissy Teigen would publicly cheat on John Legend, Jack Nicholson would make a comeback on TV, Angelina Jolie would be hospitalized for stress, and Jennifer Aniston would fall in love with a European actor. All wrong.
Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx would announce pregnancy plans (they split in August), Charlie Sheen would marry a fourth time, Harrison Ford would reveal his rocky marriage to Calista Flockhart, Julie Chen would divorce Les Moonves, Demi Lovato would have a baby, Priyanka Chopra would get pregnant, Kim Kardashian would divorce Kanye West, and Tom Cruise would get engaged to a Scientologist actress. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I forecast that in 12 months time the ‘Enquirer’ will have forgotten all about this week’s 2020 predictions as few, if any, come to fruition.
The ‘Globe’ predicts that in 2020 Simon Cowell will assault a New York street entertainer, that Caitlyn Jenner will become a frequent White House visitor, and Ben Affleck will win $1 million playing poker with an Arab sheik. If any of that happens we’ll be sure to tell you.
Perhaps the tabloids may have more luck consulting tea leaves or casting the I-Ching than employing the current sources they use for their news stories.
In time-honored tabloid tradition, doctors who have never met or seen the stars are called on to diagnose their ailments based solely on photographs.
“Real Reason William Was Named King!” screams the breathless cover of the ‘Globe.’ "Prince Charles Is Dying! Fears he has months to live! Battling killer heart disease! Pushed aside to save monarchy!”
Doctors have apparently studied photos of the Prince's swollen feet and hands to diagnose chronic heart disease and say he’s about to kick the royal bucket. You can’t argue with science.
Charles suffered “feet so swollen he took off shoes,” reports the Globe,which has the photos to prove it. Almost.
In fact, he removed his shoes and socks not because of discomfort, but while visiting a Sikh temple in New Delhi recently, along with everyone else entering the temple barefooted. And swollen fingers and toes can be caused by long flights, hot climes, water retention, poor circulation and arthritis - not just heart disease. Charles has complained of his swollen “sausage fingers” before on long trips, as he did in Australia in 2012, when his inflated extremities returned to normal after returning home. And for the 99th time: Prince William has not, and can not, be named King. Read the Act of Settlement of 1701, fer cryin’ out loud.
Angelina Jolie suffers a similar medical diagnosis from doctors she’s never met in the ‘Enquirer’ story: “Angie’s Frozen Face Fiasco!” Medical experts have decided she’s had “massive nips, tucks and fillers, turning her once-gorgeous face into an immobile mug.” Jolie just can’t win with the tabloids: As far as they’re concerned she’s either rail-thin and has weeks to live, or she gains a few pounds to look glowingly healthy and she’s condemned as being stuffed full of fillers. It’s enough to freeze anyone’s face.
The British Royal Family continues to be treated as a soap opera, with the ‘Enquirer’ writing a torrid script for this week’s drama-packed episode: “Andrew’s Drunken Brawl With William & Kate! Terrible scene after crashing Queen’s family Christmas party.”
Prince Andrew allegedly arrived at the Buckingham Palace staff party uninvited and was thrown out by Prince Charles, who as we all know serves as the bouncer at such events. Days later at the Queen’s Sandringham bash Andrew “unleashed a torrent of abuse at William and Kate” who he blames for his recent exile from Royal duties amid his Jeffrey Epstein sex slave scandal. Andrew reportedly told nephew and future monarch Prince William that he is “nothing but a a spoiled brat! You and your commoner wife make me sick.” Andrew then reportedly slammed William into a wall before security removed him. Why didn’t Charles throw him out again? Perhaps those swollen fingers and toes were affecting his bouncer duties? Once again we are left wondering why the massed ranks of the British Royal press pack failed to report on this palace punch-up? Are they part of a Royal cover-up? Or maybe the Christmas bash clash never happened?
And how might the ‘Globe’ explain the fact that Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were seen walking side-by-side as they arrived for the annual Christmas Day church service in Sandringham? It was widely reported that Charles was publicly showing his support for his younger brother, but perhaps the tabloids next week will tell us that Charles was closely shadowing Andrew only to make sure he didn’t assault the priest and steal the church silver.
It’s 1994 all over again in ‘Us’ and ‘People’ magazines, both of which feature Jennifer Aniston on their covers.
Aniston’s former marriage and renewed friendship with Brad Pitt dominates the ‘Us’ cover: “The Truth About Their Reunion. Brad’s Second Chance. How he won Jen back!”
After implying all sorts of possible romantic reawakenings, the mag quotes an unnamed source who says: “Brad and Jen are grown adults who’ve become friendly again. There’s not much more to it.” Exactly. There’s not much more to it.
‘People’ mag’s cover takes us back to the cast of the hit show of the ’Nineties with “Friends Forever!” Where are they now? Apparently, the former cast of ‘Friends’ are where they’ve always been, getting on with their lives in Hollywood and New York. Yes, the sextet are “friends forever,” but as ‘People’ makes clear, while the show’s three female co-stars have stayed close, the three male stars hardly ever see one another. But don’t let that fool you: “They care a lot about each other,” says an unnamed insider. Ain’t that sweet.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at ‘Us’ to tell us that actress Sutton Foster wore it best, that celebrity chef Carla Hall’s “first car was an orange AMC Gremlin,” and that the stars are just like us: they cuddle their dogs, shop for holidays gifts and grab take-out. As edifying as ever.
Kudos to ‘Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit model Camille Kostek for being one of the very rare celebrities who opens up their purse to reveal not only the typical anodyne assortment of bobby pins, lip gloss and an amethyst birthstone, but also the one item that almost every women is likely to carry in her purse but rarely admits to in this ‘What’s In My Bag?’ feature - a tampon.
A tampon or other personal hygiene product is probably rolling around the purse-bottom of most female celebrities under the age of menopause, and yet to read ‘Us’ mag every week you’d never know it, until now.
“There’s always a tampon in here,” Kostek says of her Kate Spade bag. “My mom’s drilled it into my head that even if it’s not your time of the month, if life’s off, the it probably will change [your] schedule.”
Finally, news you can use.
Onwards and downwards . . .