Beloved child actress Lindsay Lohan's shocking "I'm Gay!" cover has hit newsstands! And it is truly shocking. The word "gay" is nowhere to be found?! It's all "Love" and "Wedding Plans" and "In Other Old News, Oy That Is A Remarkable Rack." But everyone knows the correct way to reveal one's gayness on a magazine cover is to make arrangements with a distinguished Time Inc. publication to run a cover story that somberly declares: "Hey! Hi! I am ready to air my deep painful lifelong secret with the world in a supportive setting! If just one kid in Nebraska with an elaborate Christian Siriano fantasy and a dream can read my painful painful story and feel a little more 'normal' as a result then it will all have been worth it! Because this is really painful for me, telling the world what they already knew about me! Even though being gay is nothing to be ashamed of; it is just like having Lyme disease or something!" Not Lindsay. When Lindsay Lohan turns out to be gay, it is like …aspirational! And that adorbs snapshot of her and girlfriend Sam Ronson in those Come On Feel The Lemonheads shirts: whose inner college lesbian without the college isn't tingling experimentally over that image? It is like Jamie Lynn and her enviable teen pregnancy, but without the weight gain.
Brangelina spawn photo war update! We hear that Getty is scheduled to do the photo shoot of Angelina Jolie's new twins on Monday. Knox and Vivienne are officially entering the celebrity media machine, and it's about time! The twist, of course, is that the bidding war between OK! and People for the rights to the photos is still ongoing. The price was hovering between $11 and $12 million this morning, and we hear it hasn't been decided yet. We know you are dying to know who will walk away the victor. A speculative look, and a guess:
Jennifer Lopez's last two movies, El Cantante and An Unfinished Life, did only $16m between them at the domestic box office. The singer-actress has ceded the celebrity weeklies, in which her relationship with actor Ben Affleck featured heavily, to younger stars. Her current husband, Marc Anthony, is a relative unknown. So why would pictures of Lopez's forthcoming offspring be worth up to $6m to People magazine? Because box-office appeal, buzz, and spousal synergy are all outweighed by one factor: the soppy readers of celebrity magazines adore pictures of twins. They're worth not merely twice as much; the multiplier is more like two to the power of two. Which means that Angelina Jolie's twins, which benefit from much more famous parents, will smash all records; her last, solo, child brought in $4m.
Here are the first pictures of Baby Max, newborn son of singer, Christina Aguilera. Awww, isn't he cute? And he'd better be: People, part of Time Inc.'s struggling magazine group, outbid checkbook-wielding OK! for the photos. The price: an budget-busting $1.5m, we hear. So buy the magazine, or Max will be the last alpha offspring you ever see. (Read here why there's been such inflation in the price of celebrity baby snaps.)
We're in the market for any background on the OK! editor, and former publicist. Shuter, who was fired as Jessica Simpson's publicist after making up an item about her love for John Mayer, is sleazy even by the standards of the debased celebrity weekly industry. So I'm thinking there's plenty of anecdote surrounding him. Email.
The New York Post's Keith Kelly confirms the Feds are investigating an editor at In Touch magazine for taking kickbacks from photo agencies. Not that much new in the piece that wasn't already aired on Gawker on Wednesday. But the allegation is that the celebrity weekly editor assigned lucrative assignments to favored agencies, in exchange for cash payments.
Perhaps Complex magazine missed the juicier side of the FBI's dirty editor investigation: the tabloid editor in question may have been taking bribes to kill stories, not just promote them, according to one former coworker. An English editor based out of In Touch's New Jersey headquarters was, starting four years ago, widely rumored among In Touch staff to have accepted bribes on a regular basis, particularly from a fellow Brit working as a high-profile publicist to a collection of ditzy celebrities. Staff were particularly "horrified" when the editor accepted a rumored $10,000 payment to kill a story involving Jennifer Lopez after her breakup with Ben Affleck, the former colleague said. Though this editor was based on the East Coast, his story helps show why the FBI would be interested in the former In Touch West Coast-based editor on whom speculation has centered.
Famously, Al Capone was brought down, not by charges of racketeering or murder, but by a mundane prosecution for tax evasion. Could it be that's what finally crimps corruption at the celebrity weeklies? According to Complex magazine, federal investigators have tapped phones at In Touch, the also-ran gossip magazine put out by Bauer Publishing. The focus of the FBI probe: payments to at least one editor in exchange for prominent placement of certain B-list celebrities. (For more desirable stories, and baby pictures, the money flows the other way, from magazine to source.) Accepting bribes, while a sackable offense, is not illegal. However, if an editor failed to declare the income, he could be hauled up for tax evasion. News of the investigation has leaked because agents have called in former staffers for interviews over the last few days. In Touch: want to respond? Email and we'll publish. (After the jump, Robert De Niro as Al Capone, slamming the Untouchables for "doctoring up" some income tax violation.)
Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz are not engaged, Us Weekly reports in a confessional apology for getting the story wrong (twice). They're getting good at confirming stories, especially when the stories are denials. But then they follow up with a reader poll: "Should Simpson and Wentz get married?" So at least they're focus-grouping the lies now. [RM]
When the celebrity weeklies come out tomorrow, nearly all of them will have some version of the story of Angelina Jolie's adoption of three-year-old Pax Thien Jolie last week. But only one magazine will certainly have it as a photo-heavy cover. Only one gets the exclusive access to Jolie and her adoptees that the other tabs can only dream about.
Hide the cheetos. Britney Spears' lawsuit against Us Weekly, in which she claimed that that magazine had libeled her — not by reporting that she and KFed had made a sex tape (well, duh! Wasn't it called "Chaotic?"), but by saying that she had "acted goofy" while watching the tape in her lawyer's office — has been dismissed. The judge, not being a complete retard, saw right through that one and ruled that since Brit had "put her modern sexuality squarely, and profitably, before the public eye," the magazine had not defamed her. Hear that, Britney? Put your modern sexuality away now. Please. Please please.
Britney Spears' Libel Suit Dismissed [AHN]
As first reported on Friday afternoon, Getty Images sent an email out to celebrity weekly editors hawking photos of Anna Nicole Smith, her newborn daughter, and her son, Daniel. The pictures were taken in the Bahamian hospital where, the next day, Daniel was found mysteriously dead. For an initial asking price of $200K, Getty would provide a handful of the tender! heartbreaking! tragic! images, the only caveat being that the buyer had to refrain from running the photos with any sort of negative press — which may be easier said than done if and when toxicology reports are released.
Before all the inevitably ugly details surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son, Daniel — who was found dead in Anna Nicole's hospital room on Sunday morning, just three days after she gave birth to her new daughter — emerge with the autopsy and toxicology reports, why not cash in? Getty Images has sent an email to celebrity weekly editors saying they have 17 pictures of Anna Nicole, Daniel and the new baby, taken in the hospital the day before Daniel died. Preview images show Anna Nicole and Daniel in the hospital bed, with Daniel smiling and holding the baby; Daniel standing up, cradling the baby; and Anna Nicole holding the baby while her lawyer and BFF, Howard K. Stern, leans in with them.
• After her recently fired flack Rob Shuter planted less-than-true items about her non-relationship with John Mayer, Jessica Simpson goes on serious damage control, placing personal phone calls to the celebrity weekly editor posse and apologizing for making everyone look like dumbasses. People editor Larry Hackett, however, didn't take the call. Time Inc. is a very "talk to the hand" kind of place. [Radar]
• Alas, the court documents pertaining to the separation of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown aren't half as interesting as their show (speaking of: if ever there were a time to bring that shit back, it'd be now). And lest you forget, there's actually a 13-year-old daughter involved here, who's probably been wandering the streets for months. [TMZ]
• Meanwhile, Roger Friedman fondly remembers the days of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." [Fox411]
• The death of Anna Nicole Smith's son is being deemed "suspicious;" Smith herself didn't remember what happened, having gone into shock. [Reuters]
• Harvard likes its money, and the school doesn't care where it came from. Thus they won't be giving back alleged hebephile Jeffrey Epstein's $6.5 million donation. You know how it goes: as long as the dollar bills aren't sticky... [Page Six]
• Crazy old coot Dr. Laura believes that "women act like unpaid whores," and she's right. Get paid, bitches! Don't do that GGW crap for free! [Page Six]
In the world of celebrity weeklies, People is like this big, fluffy therapist's couch, where celebrities can lay down and emote and tell their stories exactly as they wish. It's so comfy, industry rumor is that evil queen flack Leslie Sloane-Zelnik once said, "With [People ME] Larry Hackett in charge, I can practically write the story myself." So naturally, the big P is where Jennifer Aniston chose to go to personally refute Us Weekly's claim that she and Vince Vaughn are engaged. She tells the magazine, "When it starts to travel over into the Today show and CNN, and supposedly reliable and accurate news programs, then you just go, 'This is insane. People are getting fed a lot of bull.'"
• If you have a vagina, you probably enjoy reading about movie stars. [NYS]
• Analyst says Sumner Redstone should take Viacom private, stop showing repeats of MAD TV all damn day. [AdAge]
• TiVo wants to sell advertisers research on what commercials people watch. We're gonna save you a couple million bucks, Madison Avenue: it's the ones with tits or baby animals. You're welcome. [NYT]