Celebritology Live

Jul 05, 2012

Celebritology bloggers Jen Chaney gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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So, uh,  a few things have happened since we chatted last Thursday. You know what they are.

Let's discuss that TomKat matter and anything else that's on your minds.

I don't know any, but at lot of us have been walking around singing that John Lennon song "Power to the People." Just thought you'd like to know.

I am right there with you. I don't have power either. When I finally get electricity back, I am totally making a Pepco Burn Book. You are welcome to contribute.

So, what's really going on here? Is there anything to the "33" problem, i.e., all of Tom Cruise's wives have been 33 years old when they broke up with Cruise?

I think that's more a coincidence than anything else.  A weird coincidence, but a coincidence.

Every obit of Andy Griffith has of course mentioned A Face in the Crowd as the must see movie for those who think he could only play smart, honorable guys. But before I ever saw A Face in the Crowd, I saw the 1983 TV movie Griffith did opposite Johnny Cash, A Murder in Coweta County. Cash was the good guy--a Southern sheriff out to solve a young man's murder. And Griffith was the immensely wealthy and evil Georgia land baron Cash clashes with. Andy Griffith really had the ability to play venal, corrupt and corrupting men. I think it's a shame more challenging roles didn't come his way after Andy Taylor became such an icon.

I have not seen "Murder in Coweta County." Will have to check that out.

It's true, Andy Taylor really defined him. It made him eternally beloved and synonymous with a great character, but it also pigeonholed him as an actor, too.

Do you think the Holmes/Cruise divorce will bring to light the controversy and allegations of abuse in Scientology or will Cruise survive this round just like the others?

Well, the Scientology factor has already been a key element of the reporting/speculation around the divorce. But at this point, it's all allegation, as you say.

I think Cruise's career has survived a lot. This will be an interesting test.

Maybe 33 is the age at which Tom C's wives age out of their contract. Hmmm...

Others have said that. But Nicole  Kidman -- at least according to reports and interviews she has done -- didn't want a divorce. Now, maybe that's a line she agreed to feed the press or something, I don't know. But I always took her at her word, that she was genuinely heartbroken by the split.

If that's true, then the contract theory falls apart. Also, why would Cruise devise a contract in which all of his wives reach their ability to dissolve it at the same age? It doesn't make a lot of sense.

We love you Matlock, oh yes we do...

I wanted to post a supercut of Abe Simpson yelling Matlock. But a. I didn't have the capacity to do it and b. it seemed disrespectful to Griffith.

But I can still see the Matlock supercut, in my mind.


I will want to be the next Mrs. Cruise. I have been in love with him for about 25 years. I will be ready to be his steady when he gets over the bumps of this relationship. I am also ready to convert to Scientology, and for me to say that just proves of my yearning for Tom.

I do not doubt your yearning. Not in any way.

Unless you're kidding, in which case, I doubt it a lot.

I just read your post about Travolta and I think he's probably handling the pub for Savages as best as he possibly can right now. You're a journalist...you know you would be expected to ask him about the lawsuits. He knows that and chooses not to participate probably because he knows there's nothing he says that's going to sway anyone's opinion and he could hurt his movie. It's got to be a difficult situation. BTW, all that kissy-kissy stuff w/the wife doesn't change people's opinions either.

I thought the Preston photos were unnecessary and a bit "thou protests too much." But being low-key and selective about his TV appearances was wise, I think.

On "Charlie Rose" in particular, he came across as strong and still very likable. But at some point, unless he never does additional interviews again, he will have to respond to questions about all this. It's unavoidable.

Long ago, there was much speculation about the paternity of Suri Cruise - who was born PRIOR to the marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Thus, in my limited understanding of family law, isn't it true that if Tom is NOT the biological father of Suri, that he has NO right to object to the sole custody issue? In other words, I think children born during a marriage (no matter who the bio father is) are the children of the husband. But there is no such rule for pre-marriage children. So, if Tom Cruise does NOT dispute custody, does that give credence to the rumor?

Good question.

The lawyers in the Celebritology reading family may be able to better answer this. I certainly think his custody rights are diminished, if not non-existent, if he's not the biological father. But I'm pretty sure he is.

Suri sure looks like a Mapother to me. However, if Cruise does not dispute custody, that doesn't necessarily give credence to the rumor, although I am sure plenty of people will make that leap.

Man, I feel sorry for that kid. Divorce is hard on any child, but this is a doozy.

I would love to hear Mr. Leiby's take on the Scientology aspect of the the Holmes-Cruise split. He famously tangled with the cultists in Florida and might have some interesting insights on wives who attempt to escape. (Mr. Leiby was a proto-Celebritologist before Ms. Kelly. No idea if he is still with the Washington Post.)

Mr. Leiby is indeed still with the Post -- he used to edit some of my work when he was in Style, and he was and is the best.

Now he's a foreign correspondent so his focus is elsewhere. But I should forward this question to him.

Did you watch "Take This Waltz" yet? Seth Rogen (personally I was tired of his shtick lately) was really good. It could have been a bit less all over the place in terms of plot among other things, but it really made rethink the meaning of that one-hit wonder "Video Killed the Radio Star."

I have not seen it yet, but want to. It's on my long list of things to catch up on.

Why is the Scientology 'church' fine for endless bashing vis a vis the TomKat divorce? I am a faithful member of a very different belief, and no fan of Ron Hubbard. But - I don't see peeps tear into...I dunno...Lutheranism. Islam. The Amish...you get the idea. Just because it is 'out there' does this mean anti-religious fervor is OK for some? Can we bash Danes but not Japanese, etc.? How about the deaf? Is there open season on them, for whatever reason? No? Why not? See what I mean? There should be one standard, non-discriminatory. IMHO.

I don't think I am engaging in religion bashing at all. There have been allegations about some strange things in the Church of Scientology for a long time, just as there are about other religions as well.

This is not about being against any one's religious beliefs. At least that's not my intent. It's really hard to discuss Tom Cruise without these issues coming up.

What I find interesting about the split is that it appears that Katie put the wheels in motion a while ago - having her father assist her in finding attorneys, renting an apt in NY etc., even waiting until Tom was out of the country before she filed - all while keeping him totally in the dark. Jeez, you must REALLY want out to go through all of the behind the scenes stuff she did. It also doesn't say much about their relationship if she had to resort to those methods to leave. Reminds me of these polygamist wives who whisk their children off in the dead of night to get away from their husbands.

That element is definitely interesting. If Cruise was indeed blind-sided, as reports suggest, then it does suggest that she had to go this route so she could take control of the situation, at least from a media standpoint.

I'm heartbroken about Andy Griffith's passing, so hesitate to ask, but what was up with him being "laid to rest" the afternoon of his death? That seems awfully quick.

I am not sure. Maybe that was part of his last wishes.

So...Anderson Cooper's coming out and your post about it really got the juices going. It was a Booby Kennedy Day the likes of which haven't been seen around these parts in some time.

A BKD indeed. Due to the business of work and my lack of power at home, I didn't get to dive in too deeply.

(For those who don't know Celebritology lingo, this means the comments section blew up, and largely with commenters who don't normally read Celebritology.)


The Hollywood Reporter calls Katie Holmes Scientology's "Biggest Nightmare." I'm wondering, is there anyone who is not a Scientologist siding with Tom? I'm Team Katie all the way.

Well, the previous chatter who agreed to convert to Scientology and be Cruise's next spouse counts as one.

Being likable, at least as a public personality, matters for these A-list stars, right?

I would say it does, yes. If you're a character actor, probably not as much. But for big movie stars -- your Cruises and Clooneys -- our perception of them offscreen often ties in directly to how much we want to watch them onscreen. It's less important when they appear in ensemble pictures, but I still think it matters.

According to the increasing 11-year age differential of his first three wives, the next Mrs. Tom Cruise is currently 23 (thus disqualifying the chatter who's been in love with him for 25 years). So, who are some 23-year-old starlets whom Tom might choose from for his next wife? Could you compile a list we could snark on tomorrow (since it's Friday, and last week's list was a smashing success)?

Actually, there was no list last Friday because of TomKat. That story -- plus the Adele pregnancy -- threw the Celebritlogy day totally off-course.

I am hoping to do a Friday list tomorrow but am not sure I'll go to that place so soon. I'm trying to maintain a vague sense of decorum. Although clearly either you are not alone, or you submitted this question twice with different wording...

If you've loved him for 25 years, you, like me, are probably too old to be considered in the running for the next Mrs. Cruise. Remember all the rumors about his choices when we wound up with Katie (apparently ScarJo turned him down). Which makes me wonder who the 20 somethings are that he'll attempt to woo this time around: Emma Stone? Lilo? The single Olsens?

... see what I mean?

If Tom Cruise married an Olsen twin, I believe the universe would collapse upon itself.  And if he married Lilo, I might just collapse period out of exhaustion. Lord, the number of blog posts that would entail...

Darn it, people, I'm trying to maintain decorum!

Yeah, it must be hard to live when your single mother has to raise you with only a few million dollars, plus monthly child support payments that will probably be in the 10,000 dollar range. Yeah, she's got it bad.

I knew someone would say something along these lines. Yes, she's all set financially. That doesn't mean it will be fun for her to be in the spotlight, being judged, for the rest of her life. Or that it will be fun for her to be argued over by her parents.

Money doesn't make those things more pleasant.

People who think Suri isn't Tom's biological daughter are nuts. She has his nose! She's his. Sorry kids.

I agree. There's too much physical resemblance there for her not to be.

You may have wanted to ask for an example of religion bashing in this chat. I just read up and can't find it. But here goes: A priest, a rabbi and a minister walked into a mosque ... oh, never mind.

What's the rest of the joke? Does it involve thetans?

Thank you for having a sense of humor, my friend. I need the laughs today.

Very few celebrities (dare I say, NO celebrities) are Amish. Hence, no stories.

Oh yeah? What about this guy?

But I will be 33 in 2.5 years so I hope he's ready to pop the question yesterday. He was my first love, and everything. So, other poster, can I have a go with Tom first since I'm expiring soon?

Two people are Team Cruise, in an above-and-beyond way.

You two will just have to fight it out amongst yourselves as far as who gets to make the first "I'm your next wife" pitch.

I really hate to break it to her (or him...), but if you've been yearning for 25 years, then, much like Little League Baseball, you've aged out of eligibility. When it comes to becoming Tom Cruise's wife, I'm reminded of the Wooderson line from "Dazed and Confused" -- "I get older, but the girls stay the same age". BTW, as a single, straight male, there's no way I'm seeing "Magic Mike", but it would really be great if they could've figured out a way to work that line into the script.

Aw, come on. Just because you're a straight guy, that doesn't mean you can't see "Magic Mike."

This just proves the stereotype I mentioned in this piece.

That said, I am in total agreement with you on working the Wooderson line into the film. Maybe after all the "all right, all right, all rights" it would have seemed like too much?

Orthodox Judaism, Islam and the Baha'i faith all encourage burial within 24 hours.

True, but Griffith was none of these. He was Christian.

To announce anything (split, unexpected pregnancy, bankruptcy, coming out) semi-controversial. TMZ, Us, People, National Enquirer, Star, are so busy chasing the TomKat story that no one will pay attention to your deal.

It's true. I thought about making a list of people who must have been relieved when the TomKat story started dominating so much attention: Ann Curry, Lauryn Hill, Travolta...

When my great aunt died, she requested no embalmment. Therefore, it was a very fast funeral (the day after her death); so quick, I literally couldn't get there on time. Perhaps that was the case here.

That could be.

Will Tom or Katie get custody of the turkey baster?

Oh boy. Now we're punching below the--

Never mind. I'm just inviting more trouble.

Does BKD actually stand for Booby, not Bobby, Kennedy Day? If so, can I PLEASE hear that story??

I have explained this on numerous occasions, so I am nominating a Celebritology reader to send in the best, funniest and most concise explanation of BKD. Please do it ASAP before the chat ends.

When are the celebrities going to rally in Washington to help the poor families without power??

Here's one of the many things we've learned during the power outage, apart from the fact that Pepco is the WORST: celebrity doesn't help you get your power back. Being wealthy and "important" doesn't help you get your power back.

I've seen $2 million homes sit dark and un-AC'd for days, with wires fallen all around them.

It doesn't matter how much power you have. You can still have no power.

You all just think about that for a minute. It's fine. I'll wait.


"Pray for the Wildcats" with Andy, Shatner, Marjoe Gortner, the dad from the Brady Bunch, and Angie Dickinson. Bunch of advertising execs go Lord of the Flies in Baja. On motorcycles.

That's a heck of an elevator pitch.

His Wikipedia entry lists quite a number of heavy and ambiguous roles after The Andy Griffith show. Some were comedic, but they weren't just various incarnations of Andy Taylor.

True, but I think the vast majority of Americans think of him as Taylor. More of us saw that TV show than any of his movies.

Few religious organizations are as secretive -- or as litigious about it -- as the Church of Scientology. LDS can be secretive, true, but it's more open and doesn't bring the hammer down on anyone who questions it. Scientology, on the other hand, reveals its tenets only in stages, as members progress through its levels (and pay through the nose for such progress), and it aggressively goes after ex-members, reporters, and anyone else who tries to publicize its theology. So that's why it gets more criticism than, say, the Lutherans.

This is well stated, which is why I posted it.


Something just occurred to me. Nicole Kidman had a miscarriage shortly after Tom left her. Tom has said he is happy with 3 kids and presumably doesn't want more, and Katie left him. Could these two divorces have been about something as simple as disagreeing about whether to have more children? Like a regular ol' normal marriage beef?

Of course it's possible there could be regular marriage beefs in the Holmes/Cruise situation. In fact, there probably are, mixed with a lot of other totally non-normal matters that are very specific to their situation.

The kid explanation doesn't make sense in Kidman's case because clearly Cruise was fine with having another child, since he did so with Holmes. Maybe he didn't want more children with Kidman for some reason, but she had a couple of miscarriages, including one early in the marriage. So clearly they wanted to be parents more than once or twice.

Stop me if you've heard this...Booby Kennedy Day...yes..Booby because it was originally a typo of "Bobby" Kennedy. And we were talking about Miley Cyrus and the pics Annie Liebowitz took of she and her daddy that were sort of skeevy and Bobby Kennedy was on the cover of Esquire and it was CRAZY. I'm pretty sure that's where the phrase "carm down" originated but who knows... I don't think I'm wrong but it's all such a muddle. We used to have a dictionary to tell us stuff like this.

All right, methinks has the most specific answer. Although Quatch Cave, for the record, admits to being responsible for the misspelling of Bobby.

And here's the Celebritology glossary, which defines BKD but is less specific about its origins.

I believe this is the actual post in which BKD was born. I'll save it for the Celebritology Time Capsule.

Who, besides you, are among DC celebs still without power?

I am not a celeb. Not even close.

And I don't know if any genuine VIPs still lack power. But I am saying that it's not like every wealthy, well-connected person immediately gets their lights back on. If that were true, Potomac would never lose power EVER.

If Tom were not the father, Katie would have already alleged that in her claim for custody. That would be a sure fire way to get custody of Suri. Since she has not, I would say Tom is the dad.

Straight from the mouth of a family lawyer, y'all. Thanks.

This may be too deep, but maybe you can explain something to me -- one of the main "insults" that gets thrown at homophobes in the comments section is that they're secretly gay and in the closet, which is why they're reacting so vehemently to the "gay agenda." However, the people hurling this insult claim to believe that being gay is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Accordingly, why do the people that claim that homophobes are closeted gays think this is an insult? I just don't get the logical inconsistency.

Hey, let's tackle a hot-button issue right before shutting down the chat. Sure, Chaney, why not?

It should not be an insult at all. You make a valid point. I think people who accuse others of being in the closet in this context are insulting their hypocrisy, not their orientation. That said, it does nothing to further honest and open dialogue and make people feel comfortable about genuinely coming out of the closet. But hey, blog commenting isn't exactly known for furthering honest dialogue. Although, for the record, I believe it can. At least on a non BKD.

And now that I've brought things full circle, I can sign off and hope that we have something else besides TomKat to discuss next week. But let's be honest. We probably won't.

Thanks for joining me.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

When she isn't blogging, at the movies or watching a television show, she's ... um ... probably at home watching a movie or a TV show.

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