Extra! Extra! New Agency Opens To Sell Celebrity Gossip. Now I Can Use Lady Gaga In My Headline

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 26JAN06 - FR: Angelina Joli...
Moremoremoremoremoremoremore!!!!!Image via Wikipedia

Here’s some deeply comforting news for anyone — anyone? — who still cares more about boring shit like the economy or healthcare or job loss or the BP spill, a new celebrity news agency!

Because, you know, we really don’t get enough news about celebrities.

From mediabistro.com’s blog FishbowlLA:

We began testing the waters and working with experienced U.S.-based freelance reporters, many of whom had either lost their jobs or had had their hours drastically cut back. The results were astounding. While magazines shutter in the U.S. and reduce pay, magazines in Britain and France, for instance, continue to pay rates that are twice the level of ordinary freelance news rates in the US. Average stories sell for $400 to $1,000. Bigger exclusives, such as a story on Tiger Woods, can go up to $3000.

What are some of the stories we have sold? We debunked the rumors about the Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt break up for More magazine in the UK, covered Lady Gaga’s penchant for green tea for Grazia Magazine, and explored the deeper meaning of medications Britney Spears might take for bi-polar disorder for Voici in France.

I can’t decide which makes me want to projectile vomit further: the insatiable appetite for crap about millionaires or the fact Europeans are paying so much better for “journalism” than American publishers.

If you need me, I’ll just be out on the window ledge, tap-dancing.

With A Smile, A New Husband — and $15 Million — Lorena Ochoa Leaves Pro Golf Tomorrow

How refreshing — a golf story that isn’t about infidelity.

This week, Lorena Ochoa, 28, a rarity as a Hispanic woman in the elite world of professional golf, (dominated of late by Korean women), is retiring to focus on her husband and starting a family. She is the number one player in women’s golf.

She plays her final tournament in Morelia, Mexico this Thursday. Here’s her website announcement.

From The New York Times:

“I do want to be remembered for the things outside the golf course,” she said. “I’m going to work really hard, and this is the compromise I have to myself, a responsibility to give back in order to help others to make a change in their life. I’m going to work on that. That is my goal.”

As she has shown, she is very good at achieving the goals she sets. As for the game, to be sure, Ochoa lost the desire to travel the hard road of professional golf. She was candid in saying she had lost the drive required to remain No. 1, a position she occupied for the past three years.

“Once you reach your goals, it’s really hard to find that motivation,” Ochoa said. “You need to be brave to see that. Just to really listen to your heart and your feelings and be able to see that and make a decision.”

[daylifegallery id=”1272386003172″]

What Sandra Bullock And I Have In Common — 'Runaway Husbands'

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 07:  Sandra Bullock...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It sure isn’t an Oscar!

The challenge is, when hubby bolts, you’re supposed to feel humiliated. Well, you do. That’s true. But he made the choice.

We both faced the nasty reality of a “runaway husband”, the subject of a new book by marriage therapist Vikki Stark, whose own husband ran out on her after 21 years.

I was with my ex for five years before we married, and our marriage barely made it past our second anniversary. He was re-married to his second wife (whom he’s still with) within the year. She’s even in my wedding pictures, his “best friend” (cue Psycho music here) from work.

I’ll spare you the grim details, but it was hell. He was gone a lot — a doctor, officially overnight “on call” at the hospital or, helping her with her young baby as a single mother, at her home. I relied on his income 100 percent, which left me unwilling to push back as hard as I needed to, let alone move out or kick him out.

For those of you whose hubbies have strayed, or you fear they might:

1) Do your due diligence before you marry. Seriously. I had plenty of reason to worry about my ex-husband when I met his family. His mother was so miserable in her marriage she told me all about it. His older brother had already bailed on two wives, each with a young child. Not a good sign! I loved my ex deeply, felt sure we’d figure it all out — and still demanded a pre-nup to seal the deal, just in case.

2) Pre-nup. If you are entering a marriage, like Bullock and many other women with assets, protect yourself. Make sure your finances, if entwined, won’t drag you into court for decades. Know his FICO score. Know what he earns, saves and invests. I was sufficiently alarmed by my ex’es family misery I wanted a pre-nuptial agreement to protect myself, having left my country, family, friends and a thriving career to marry him. As a nosy, mistrustful reporter, I went and interviewed a divorce attorney — $350/hour in 1992 — to find out my legal rights should my marriage end, especially if it ended quickly. I would, he said, have gotten nothing — after putting my career on hold and marrying someone making a lot of dough. My ex had to write me a five-figure check once he’d left, and that was before alimony kicked in. Divorce is expensive, so I calculated in: moving costs, lawyers’ fees, therapy fees and a month or two to get back on my feet.

3) Protect your assets. These include your professional skills, the one thing many women let atrophy if they stay home and mother their kids exclusively.

4) Keep your friendships strong. I was extremely isolated when my husband walked out, June 15, 1994,  a Wednesday night. Yes, I remember. I had very few friends, had quit my job and my family of origin was far away in Canada. I didn’t eat for a week (looked great, though!) and only the kindness of a compassionate, elderly neighbor I barely knew put food in my mouth after she took me into her apartment and made me a sandwich and made me eat it.

5) Keep your professional network, even sporadically, alive. There’s no excuse now. Between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can, and must, maintain some professional networks, even if you’re convinced your marriage is made in heaven and can’t possibly (hello, Titanic?) fail. Should you suddenly need income, and you will if your husband bails, a few colleagues or clients who’ll come through for you quickly is essential.

I knew my marriage faced challenges — I begged my maid-of-honor, just as we walked up the stairs to the church, “Just be my friend if this doesn’t work out.” She did and she is, celebrating her own 20th. wedding anniversary this year. Every marriage faces challenges, whether you’re clutching an Oscar or struggling with infertility or unemployment or illness or you hate his mother or he hates your sister.

The brave, loving husbands are honest enough to say, clearly and without screaming — and before bedding a skank, or a whole bunch of them — “This isn’t working for me. We need to talk.”

And we need to listen.

Tiger And His Growing Pack Of, Let's Be Polite And Call Them Mistresses — Please Explain

Tiger Woods
Image via Wikipedia

I read the New York Post every day. It’s where I get my gossip, and where — every day this week — another scrawny, slutty white chick, yet another in a parade of Tiger Woods conquests, is posing happily in her underwear. I’m losing track of how many there are; like mushrooms, they keep springing up overnight, eager for attention or big payoffs.

Setting aside how Elin might feel — and it’s been reported she’s bought a $2.2 million home on in island in Sweden, her homeland — I do need someone to explain to me just what is so appealing about these women. Skinny, blond, young, sexually adventurous. Yawn.

That’s it, right? That’s all he wanted or needed? The wife safely stowed in the McMansion, the two perfect little kiddos posed for adorable family images, Tiger Woods was really spending most of his time either controlling his id or happily giving into it?

Sex is sex. How many slutty girls does one guy actually need? They’re all cut from the same cloth. Was their anonymous, low-wage, low-status disposabilty so appealing? His cocky certainty they’d never show up at the same parties or events or social gatherings to embarass him?

Sorry, I don’t get it.

Why Elin Needed A Pre-Nup — And Many Women Do

Bride and groom
Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

The words “pre-nuptial agreement” are considered dirty in many circles, a pre-emptive land grab before the vows have even been exchanged. A pox on your blessed union before that unity candle has even been lit.

But if you choose to marry a man whose earnings vastly outsize yours — and if you, also, have chosen, as many women do, to pause or end your education, training or career to marry and or raise this man’s children or the children you now (also) bear with him, or if you uproot yourself so completely your career, and your own earning power, is seriously damaged to sustain this marriage — a pre-nup is not such a bad idea. Let alone, as many late-marrying or multiply-marrying women now do, if you come to the union with high earning power and may acquire significant shared marital assets.

Love is grand, but it doesn’t pay the mortgage. And, even if you think or fear your husband is being unfaithful, not everyone has the time, energy, skill or dough to hire a private detective to try to obtain definitive proof. His friends, colleagues and maybe even his family may lie to cover up for him. He lies to your face, no matter what you ask or how directly. Then what?

And the laws in many states don’t favor women and their needs. Some men, and their high-powered attorneys, flee their commitments far and fast. Divorce attorneys, and unless you opt for mediation, both sides need one — are breathtakingly expensive; I finally told mine I was scared to even pick the phone it cost so much per call. (He capped his fee.)

Hardly unique to me, my husband, an M.D. who was supporting me financially at the time, walked out of our home and brief marriage with very little warning. My family was far away in Canada. I had few friends. I had no job, no income, no liquid assets and no one willing or able to hand me the cash to tide me through the next few tumultuous and costly months. Without the pre-nup I initiated and negotiated — no, not much fun — I could have ended up homeless. I still live in the home I helped buy, thanks to this document.

We all make our choices, but covering your eyes to the consequences of those choices — like, hey, your husband might actually cheat or beat you or run a Ponzi scheme and then you might need or want to find and move into a new home, or even a hotel, fast, or have enough cash in hand to stay in the home you’re now in — isn’t smart.

Yes, you need to trust your spouse. You also need some financial backup in a nation with so high a divorce rate. Women need to be smart and protect themselves financially, no matter who they marry.

Tiger, Eliot, Mark….Please, In Every Way, Just Zip It!

Tiger Woods
Hole in one, eh? Image via Wikipedia

Sigh. Another “confession” of transgression. What are we now, the new confessional?

It’s really simple, gentlemen. Zip it, and keep it zipped, whether above or below the waist. I, for one, do not wish to hear about it!

Your wives are, by all public accounts, carefully chosen, likely pre-nuptially well-vetted and exemplary: thin, pretty, smart, accomplished, patient with the endless demands of your work/travel/ego. They produce a couple of decent kids and raise them for you. Yeah, they get a nice lifestyle out of it, but as anyone who’s ever been married to a man-who-becomes-a-wallet/adulterer can tell you, it ain’t enough.

If your man is straying from the life he willingly chose and took vows to create, he’s a fool and a dog and he’s damn lucky you even let him back into the house — let alone smash in his Escalade to rescue his sorry ass in his own driveway.

You gotta love the pathetic irony of these guys who, arguably, chase and win it all: fame, fortune, a lovely wife/home/kids/career. Then blow it.

Go home, stay quiet, figure it out.