The crack squad of medically-trained psychics at the tabloids have been working overtime this week.
Prince William has cancer, Ghislaine Maxwell is trapped by coronavirus, Gwen Stefani is pregnant, and Brad Pitt is wrecking his health, according to the board certified physician-journalists who diagnose celebrity patients they've never met based on paparazzi snaps and clairvoyance.
"Shocking diagnosis nightmare after COVID test," screams the cover of the 'National Enquirer. "Prince William's Secret Cancer Crisis!"
Unnamed "palace insiders" allege that Prince William has been diagnosed with "a slow-moving" cancer.
This diagnosis was probably inspired by a visit William made in October to the cancer-treating Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey, where he is chairman of their charitable foundation.
An unidentified "courtier" claims vaguely: "There's talk around the palace the prince's decision to reveal he tested positive for COVID-19 during the spring is really an attempt to explain away his condition." Right. Because waiting until you're completely recovered from coronavirus is the perfect cover to explain a cancer diagnosis, as any oncologist can tell you.
No doubt Gwen Stefani, at the age of 51, was delighted to be told she was pregnant by the good doctors at the 'Enquirer.'
"Gwen's Miracle Baby Bump!" reveals the rag, above a photo of the singer sporting a baggy, loose-fitting sweatshirt. Since Stefani is a card-carrying fashionista she couldn't possibly simply be deliberately wearing a baggy sweater, so she must be pregnant.
"Maxwell Caught In COVID Cage!" proclaims the 'Enquirer,' conjuring images of a prison constructed entirely from coronavirus DNA. In fact the former girlfriend and Girl Friday of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is still being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY, while awaiting trial. She has long been in isolation and under suicide watch, though the 'Enquirer' claims that she is now allegedly in isolation because a guard tested positive for coronavirus. Does that mean she's in double-isolation? How can Maxwell tell the difference? Enquiring minds want to know.
Brad Pitt's cigarette habit is cause for concern at the 'Globe,' which screams in panic: "Health fears for Butthead Brad!"
Pitt was allegedly spotted by a paparazzi smoking a cigarette one day at 9.45 am, then again at 11:20 a.m., and again at 11:45 a.m. Oh, the humanity.
The rag concludes that he is "chain-smoking 60 cigs a day as he fights with ex Angelina Jolie." Because of course, it's her fault he's smoking. The psychic medics at the 'Globe' have clearly been horrified at seeing Pitt inhale three cigarettes in the space of two hours, which would put him on a pace to smoke 36 cigarettes in a 24-hour period. If its reporting team had seen Pitt smoke more of the cancer sticks they would have reported it, to the minute, so it's clear that they are using their powers of ESP to come up with the fact that he smokes 60 a day. It's heartwarming that the 'Globe' is so concerned for Pitt's well-being.
This week's tabloids naturally bring us their usual measure of fact-challenged "news.".
Bill Clinton's former friendship with Jeffrey Epstein gets the cover treatment in the 'Globe' under the headline: "Clinton Helped Epstein Get Off Hook! Bill's role in sweetheart prison deal exposed!"
Jeffrey Epstein received a slap-on-the-wrist sentence for sex crimes when jailed for 13 months in 2008, and the 'Globe' reports that Epstein "used every gun in his arsenal – including his closeness to Clinton – to negotiate a deal . . ."
But did Clinton help Epstein escape a more severe sentence? An unnamed insider tells the 'Globe': "There's zero evidence Clinton himself had any knowledge about the deal, nor was he consulted about it while it was being negotiated." In other words: The 'Globe' story is wrong and has no basis in fact. But they not only ran it anyway, but made it their cover story. Alert the Pulitzer Committee.
Equally starved of facts and reality is the 'Globe' report on Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan allowing Prince Andrew's daughter Eugenie to move into their Frogmore Cottage home in the grounds of Windsor Castle: "Harry & Meghan Gone For Good! Insult Queen by sneaking out of Frogmore in the middle of the night."
Does the 'Globe' really need reminding that Harry and Meghan left Frogmore Cottage – during the day – almost 12 months ago to move to Canada, en route to Los Angeles and their final resting stop at their new home in Santa Barbara, California?
Does the 'Globe' really believe that the Queen was shocked when Harry and Meghan moved their furniture out of Frogmore Cottage to make room for Eugenie, when it has been widely reported, and confirmed by palace sources, that the move was only done with the Queen's prior knowledge and consent?
Harry and Meghan moving their furniture out of the home is "a sure sign they're never coming back to live in Britain," says an unnamed "royal insider." Which is errant nonsense, of course. Even if all their furniture had been shipped to Harry and Meghan's new home in the US – which is wasn't – that would not prove that they intended never to return. Sometimes even the tabloid's best psychic reporters can't see further into the future than the end of their last exclamation mark.
The 'Enquirer' struggles to create stories from straw, with predictable results.
"Gwyn & Dakota Tussle Over Sex Toys!" the rag reports, with its penchant for turning every interaction between women into a cat-fight.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Dakota Johnson are both reportedly hawking sex toys, but because Johnson is dating Paltrow's ex-husband Chris Martin, the 'Enquirer' naturally concludes that the two women must be clawing at one another in the battle for the dildo market.
If that stretches plausibility, then the 'Enquirer' goes in the opposite direction with its story stating the obvious about accused sexual abuser Kevin Spacey: "Spacey Case: Kevin Wants To Clear His Name!" What a shock! Spacey wants to be exonerated? Who'd have thought it?
'Us' magazine devotes its cover to the pressing issue of the day on everyone's lips: "Inside Ryan & Blake's Private World – Stop Calling Our Love Fake!"
Needless to say, neither Ryan Reynolds or Blake Lively have said a single word to the magazine, which revives "The cruel rumors that won't go away," which must make Reynolds and Lively so happy. The couple don't discuss their personal lives, because "they prefer to live off the grid as much as possible," reports the rag. It's a neat trick: an intrusive feature about how much the duo hate intrusion. Bravo.
'People' has four alternate covers this week, and if you can believe it, they are all on the theme of "I Believe . . . "
There's singer Selena Gomez saying: "I Believe in the Strength of Women" – whatever that means; George Clooney intoning: "I Believe in the American Spirit"; Regina King offering: "I Believe in Speaking Out"; and that all-time celebrity favorite Dr. Anthony Fauci saying: "I Believe We Can Turn This Around." True believers, all of them. As George Michael said: You gotta have faith.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Elodie wore it best, that singer Jordin Sparks"s "secret wish is to be a Disney princess," and that the stars are just like us: they shop for groceries, run errands and bake cupcakes – though few of us have Kylie Jenner in the kitchen to help decorate the cupcakes with frosting.
Always first to bring its readers the news, even if it's 139 years late, the 'Globe' informs us that "Despite Hollywood movies, outlaw Billy the Kid didn't die in a gunfight," but was shot "by his old pal Pat Garrett" as he lay in bed with his girlfriend.
But Billy the Kid, AKA William H Bonney, born Henry McCarty, is widely believed to have been shot by a waiting Garrett when the outlaw walked into the bedroom where he had been hiding out in the New Mexico home of his friend Pete Maxwell.
Ah well, after 139 years you can't expect to get all the details right.
Onwards and downwards . . .