Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's Lying Flack
So Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie are finally getting divorced. It's a very shocking thing, since earlier this summer, when reports of a pending divorce surfaced, Madonna's flack assured the world that the couple had "no divorce plans." Could it be that the flack, Liz Rosenberg—a charter member of our list of lying flacks—told something less than the full truth? After the jump, Liz's side of the story, and then the other, more accurate side: We asked Liz Rosenberg about this discrepancy between what she said earlier, and what's happening now. Her answer: "there was no pending divorce earlier this year." So, we asked, does that mean that, for example, the Sun's report that Madonna "initially planned to move back to the US with their three children in July" is false? "yes," Rosenberg replied. Well, how credible is Liz Rosenberg? She told the world in 2006 that Madonna was not adopting a baby in Malawi. Although, of course, Madonna did adopt a baby in Malawi. What else do we know about Rosenberg?
- According to CityFile, she's "best known for having served as Madonna's flack for more than 20 years. Other clients have included the Pretenders, Cher, Josh Groban, Stevie Nicks, Seal, k.d. Lang, and Liza Minnelli."
- She does a good job of staying friendly with celebrity magazine editors, naturally—she's allegedly been showering the editor of People with free Madonna tickets for a decade or more.
- She knows how to play hardball—she reportedly managed to silence a good deal of potential press coverage of Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone's book last summer, which portrayed the singer negatively.
So Rosenberg does her job. Regardless, no matter how much wheedling, pleading, bargaining, threats, or doubletalk a flack uses, they're not supposed to flat-out lie. But Rosenberg has quite a reputation for lying. Look! Some of the most vehement "Rosenberg is a liar" voices are the most fervent Madonna fans, like commenters on AbsoluteMadonna.com. It might be advantageous to court them, from a PR point of view! Celebrity flacks are probably the only remaining category of PR people who can get away with bald-faced lies, and continue to be effective in their jobs. Corporate flacks run the risk of pissing off business reporters (or even the SEC), which would make them liabilities. Media flacks? Lord, they have to be friends with reporters. To lie is to die. Despite the vague public perception that all flacks are liars, they really can't be if they want to have a long-term career. Unless they have a client like Madonna! Because the celebrity media will want to cover Madonna for the rest of her natural life no matter what she or her flack does. So Liz Rosenberg, yes, probably finds it expedient to just lie and now and then, without any real consequences. But that also means you shouldn't necessarily believe anything she says. [pic via Celebrity Wonder]