Thanks to infinite TV channels and the fiercely competing print media, the fight by celebs to maintain their privacy gets fiercer.
Irresponsible reporting can be the bane of your life if you are a celeb. Right now those among us acting a little off-kilter get away with murder – only because no one knows us.
But imagine being under a microscope, with the paparazzi just waiting for you to trip up, nosy reporters going through your trash. They tail you, thrust the mike at you while asking intrusive questions, zoom in on you when you are in a bikini mid-sea with your loved ones. And then they ask why Victoria Beckham never smiles.
From Taimur Ali Khan to Tiger Woods, everyone has to pay the price of being a celebrity. Even as we, the hoi polloi, read the latest gossip on an actor or a singer, we well know that this is not just exaggeration but out and out lies. Still, we read on.
We need to know what Meghan Markle’s dad said, because we have relatives who embarrass us too. We need to know if Lemonade is Beyonce’s hint on marital betrayal, because our spouses need watching too. We identify with, we sneer, we envy, we aspire, as long as we don’t have to go under the lens ourselves.
Which VIP got wasted, who slapped a waiter at a party, when did so and so check into a plastic surgery clinic or rehab? Do we really need to know and that too right now?
We manage to maintain our dignity – the times we danced on the table, yelled rubbish at our boyfriend in public, go through the nine months of our pregnancy in track-pants... no one knows what we did last summer.
So used are we to this demand and supply, wholly managed by the tabloids and us as avid readers, that a Melania Trump who sues and wins ‘substantial damages’ makes us blink. The Telegraph of UK now says she wasn’t an unsuccessful model, did not seek her husband’s assistance in her modelling career, that her parents did not relocate to New York in 2005. And last but not the least, the paper admits, she did not cry on election night. Whew! All that was made up – and what’s more we wanted to believe it all.
British royal Kate Middleton too had sued a French magazine, Closer, which caught her topless when she was having a private time and won the case.
On the other hand, genuine investigative work on, say, a Michael Jackson and accusations of child-molestation has to go on. With the Daily Mail asking: ‘Has MeToo caught up with Michael Jackson beyond the grave?’ the documentary Leaving Neverland is both timely and vital.
And we did wonder what Charles Saatchi was up to when he was clicked holding glam chef and then wife Nigella Lawson by her throat in a restaurant; was that domestic abuse? With some in the British media currently suspecting Meghan Markle’s bump to be fake, the baby once born may just have to sue someone.
The line between what we need to know and what we don’t need to know is blurring all the time. Thanks to infinite TV channels and the fiercely competing print media, the fight by celebs to maintain their privacy gets fiercer. One Melania goes a long way in making our curiosity feel foolish.