The internet was a buzz last week with rumors that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are getting a divorce. The couple denies the separation but that doesn’t stop people from reading the celebrity blogs, picking up tabloid magazines and speculating about the classic cougar couple.
Moore and Kutcher aren’t the only celebrity couple to come under the watchful eye of the public. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett hit a similar marital speed bump a few weeks ago, when the rumor mills announced their divorce, which they vehemently deny. And then there was Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony – although the rumors of their ending marriage were real.
As a journalist I love that the press is free and able to write the truth without fear of government intervention or censorship of any kind. But still, I cringe each time these stories hit the web. If the couple is about to divorce this has to be a painful, sticky time for the two involved. And if they aren’t separating the torture must be even worse. Imagine, Will Smith trying to explain to his adorable children that the rumors about him and their mother are false; trying to calm their fears and stop the rumor mills. Imagine the looks they get and the whispers behind their backs as they shop for groceries or stop by the bank.
Sure, they are celebrities and they ask for the position thanks to the jobs they take and the company they keep. But staring in The Pursuit of Happyness or Just Married doesn’t mean their personal lives should be so shamefully broadcast to the whole world. And it doesn’t give us the right to pry into their business.
Anyone who has gone through a divorce, or been close to someone who has, knows that period of time is torture from all sides. Then we compound that with 24/7 media speculation and it’s a fiasco that would be hard to survive. Keeping a relationship in tact is hard enough without the public preying on every move.
Sidenote: I will admit I believe there are times when it is important to know about a person’s relationships and I think the press should cover those; politicians come to mine and one such case. (although that is fodder for another post.)