Since Gwyneth Paltrow announced earlier this week that she and her husband Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin were going to participate in what she coined a “conscious uncoupling,” there has been much speculation about what prompted their split. A few months ago, there was a lot of hubbub in the media centered around what was to be an explosive story in Vanity Fair which was going to be provocatively titled and was labeled as “an epic takedown” of the actress, an allegation the editor of Vanity Fair now denies. At that time, information had somehow leaked that the author of the piece had proof and pictures that Paltrow was engaged in a steamy affair with someone Paltrow claims is a “friend.” Rumor had it that the author of the Vanity Fair piece had obtained photos of Paltrow leaving a hotel with the man in question. However, soon after that, rumors arose that Paltrow and Martin were engaged in an open marriage. Did either of these rumors contribute to the downfall of the Paltrow-Martin union? Did an affair or an open relationship topple her marriage?
The Vanity Fair piece never ran, but it was to have been scathing and, by all accounts, nasty. Rumor had it that the piece was going to change everyone’s minds about “America’s sweetheart” and portray her as a terrible person. The piece seemed as though it was designed to destroy Paltrow’s reputation. At the time the article was being bandied about in the press, it appeared as if the author might have even had a personal vendetta against Paltrow. Some folks were left scratching their heads in bewilderment, not knowing why, exactly, a writer would seek to destroy Paltrow’s reputation on purpose.
Did an affair or open relationship topple Gwyneth Paltrow’s marriage? Maybe, but the real question is, is it anyone’s business? Another question might be why would someone delight in exposing a couple’s intimate and private secrets in a vicious way? Celebrities are in a peculiar situation in that they live in the limelight and the public is interested in the couple’s love life. If the couple is found to be engaged in an affair or affairs, it is newsworthy because people are interested in celebrities. In fact, people will always be interested in celebrities.
However, the press also bears some responsibility in the way its members report on such newsworthy topics. There is nothing inherently wrong in reporting on topics the public has deemed newsworthy, but the argument could be made that it is wrong to viciously and purposely attack a person due to a personal reason or desire for vendetta. That is what it seemed may have been happening with regard to the unpublished Vanity Fair article.
As it turns out, Paltrow was successful in getting the author of the article to pull it before publication, so the public will probably never get to know all the juicy details and tidbits about what a “terrible person” America’s sweetheart may or may not be. In reality, Paltrow is most likely no different from anyone else in the world; trying to raise her kids the best way she knows how; navigating the tumultuous waters of marriage; dealing with natural romantic and sexual desires for men other than her husband; and juggling career, family, friends and philanthropy within the 24 hours per day we all have to divide. It turns out she may have been handling all of those things plus dealing with a spouse engaged in extracurricular relationships as well: in addition to the rumors about Paltrow, Martin is also rumored to have been having multiple affairs and has been spotted out and about with women other than his wife. Did an affair or open relationship topple Gwyneth Paltrow’s marriage? Perhaps, but it’s really not anyone’s business to begin with besides her own.
By: Rebecca Savastio