The marriage from hell, Epstein's sex tapes, and overweight celebrities in this week's fact-challenged tabloids

Has Prince Harry joined a cult? It certainly sounds like it.

According to the 'National Enquirer' he is "forced to follow . . . orders," is "homesick & cut off from family and friends," and "fears losing son in brutal divorce."

Evidently he's not following an exploitative New Age guru, though The 'Enquirer' reveals a more sinister explanation for the royal hostage situation: "Harry Trapped In Marriage From Hell!" screams this week's cover story.

"Diva Duchess Meghan is destroying Prince Harry, trapping her homesick hubby in a nightmare marriage he can't escape."

Painting Prince Harry as if he was a battered bride locked behind closed doors in some nightmare third world ghetto may be a little extreme for the millionaire prince living in movie mogul Tyler Perry's $18 million Beverly Hills mansion.

It's also grotesquely unfair to Meghan, especially after several sources close to the Prince have stated that he was the instigator behind the couple's move to America and step back from Royal duties and titles.

The 'Enquirer' vilifies Meghan for her "haughty attitude and constant demands," claiming that she "resented [sister-in-law] Kate's popularity and hated playing second fiddle to her."

It's a theme echoed in the 'Globe,' which claims: "Jealous Meghan Hates Living In Kate's Shadow." Meghan allegedly "threw fits over not getting the respect and adoration she felt she was due," according to unnamed palace insiders.

The rag exhausts its stock of insults branding Meghan "bratty," "snotty," "snooty," "rude," "high-handed," "high-maintenance," "arrogant," "cold, " "selfish," "spoiled," a "commoner" and a "witch." Not a bad tally for one article.

The allegations derive from anecdotes told anonymously in a pair of supposedly non-fiction books about Harry and Meghan, though it's impossible to corroborate accusations of Meghan giving anyone the cold shoulder. These personal snubs allegedly occurred at a wedding in August 2018, when Meghan could conceivably have already been pregnant with son Archie, and may have been suffering the first signs of morning sickness when she walked away from wedding guests. "Palace insiders" always appear so quick to judge.

It's summer, so naturally the tabloids are making readers and celebrities feel guilty about their weight, no matter what that might be.

"Something's Gone Weigh Wrong With Sandler & Denzel!" reports the 'Enquirer' about "tubby" Adam Sandler and "dumpy" Denzel Washington. The duo "may be digging their own graves with a fork and spoon!" claims the rag. That's clearly an improvement on past stars who have been digging their own graves with just a spoon. Adding a fork to the excavation will make grave-digging twice as fast. And that will teach Sandler and Washington not to wear shapeless baggy clothes when stepping out of the house in future.

Songbird Mariah Carey is excoriated by the 'Enquirer' for having the audacity to try to get in shape.

"60 lbs Lighter Mariah Facing Yo-Yo Diet Danger!" claims the magazine, though it's a medically proven fact that nine out of ten yo-yo dieters prefer eating food to yo-yos, just like nine out of ten chain-smokers prefer cigarettes. Carey is allegedly dicing with death after losing excess weight, apparently. because in the tabloid world you're either eating yourself to death, or skeletally thin, or you've lost weight to be healthy so you're in danger of dying.

The writing is evidently on the wall for country singing couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, as the 'Globe' reports: "Garth & Trisha Last-Ditch Diet! 300-lb cowboy king & 200-lb wife trying to slim by Labor Day." That's less than two months distant, yet in that short time the 'Globe' claims the couple are "vowing to peel off a whopping 200 pounds." And then the 'Globe' can gleefully warn them they are about to die from yo-yo dieting.

Talking of over-feeding, the 'Globe' reports on George Clooney's marriage: "Fed-Up Clooney Stuns Amal: I Want Out!"

Even if that were true, which seems highly questionable, how can that be a surprise to Amal? The tabloids have been writing about her "$500 million divorce" for the past two years. She's taken the twins and left him repeatedly, according to past tabloid reports, and it's simply bad form for them to keep staying together. Doesn't she read the tabloids? Why are Hollywood wives always the last to know? Or maybe this story is as fact-challenged as every other story reporting their split.

The Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal continues to obsess the tabloids, perhaps because it offers such broad scope for salacious speculation, with Epstein too dead and his former lover Ghislaine Maxwell too incarcerated to complain about any inaccuracies.

"Epstein Galpal's Arrest Has Big Shots Shaking!" claims the 'Enquirer,' repeating the same allegations it has been making for years, that a host of powerful and famous public figures could be implicated in the growing scandal. Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak are among "high-powered pals" of Epstein who "will try to quash evidence" claims the 'Enquirer.' "They'll stop at nothing to bury evidence tying them to perv kingpin."

Can we expect Clinton and Prince Andrew to mount a Mission Impossible-style raid on Maxwell's cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York? I anticipate the duo coming to blows over which one of them will be playing the Tom Cruise role.

The 'Globe' dedicates its cover to the scandal, claiming: "Ghislaine Maxwell Turns Snitch! Epstein Madam's Explosive Tell-All Plea Deal!" But it's way too early for Maxwell to have negotiated a plea deal, and a careful reading of the story reveals that she has not made any such bargain, which is merely the speculation of a rent-a-quote source very tenuously related to the case.

The 'Globe' cover promises to tell readers "What she knows about these powerful men" alongside photos of Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew and Ehud Barak.

So, what does she know? The 'Globe' isn't saying, because it hasn't the faintest idea what Ghislaine is actually telling her attorney behind jail doors. Naturally, the rag claims that she has videotapes of "the rich and powerful." But wait – another source tells the 'Globe; that Ghislaine doesn't have any incriminating tapes, but "I'm sure she has access to the videos." Or maybe she doesn't. And since the FBI raided Epstein's several homes and seized numerous computers and the contents of safes, there's a high likelihood that they have any incriminating evidence that might exist, and don't need to cut any plea deal with Maxwell to obtain video recordings.

"Ellen Ain't Dead – Yet!" screams the headline above a 'Globe' story that will come as something of a relief to Ellen DeGeneres. Of course, the headline could accurately be altered to include the name of any celebrity who is still alive, and the story would still be surprisingly accurate. All it took is one fan tweeting: "Is Ellen dead or not?" and social media madness ensued, followed by the tabloids. This is what qualifies as news in the tabloids these days.

Halle Berry "Nixes Sex Swap!" reports the 'Globe,' though the story explains that the actress never planned a sex change, but was merely contemplating playing a transgender role. Pota-to, Poh-tah-to.

Both 'People' and 'Us' are in agreement on this week's cover story: the sad loss of John Travolta's actress wife Kelly Preston to breast cancer.

"Gone Too Soon . . . Tragic Final Days" reports 'Us,' while 'People' opts for: "Travolta Family Heartbreak."

But it's clear that 'Us' magazine's gossip-forward formula has it struggling: in this slender 52-page issue it devotes only two inside pages to its cover story, and one of those is a full-page photograph of Preston.

'People' magazine meanwhile gives up six inside pages to Preston's demise, not that they manage to do much more with it.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Emmanuelle Chriqui wore it best, that former 'Wonder Years' star Danica McKellar "co-authored a mathematical physics theorem now called the Chayes-McKellar-Winn theorem," and that the stars are just like us: they shop for groceries, buy fresh fruit, hike, pump gas and drop off mail. If not for 'Us' mag how would we ever know?

Onwards and downwards . . .