OK, ease up everyone. Calm down. Last week TMZ posted photos of what looked to be Justin Bieber standing on a hotel balcony and spitting on his adoring fans below. This made everyone mad, and was in keeping with Bieber's typical jerky behavior, the little jerk that he is. But his people, or one of his people — one of the many grown adults who are forever circling around this kid, polishing and rearranging, grooming and defusing and making smooth — says that Bieber didn't do it. Bieber's rep, who is probably both the slimiest and most pitiably tired man in showbiz, says:
Justin didn't spit on anyone. No fans were below the balcony. TMZ superimposed photos of the fans next to Justin on a completely different balcony to make it appear like he was spitting on fans when he wasn't. In fact, earlier in the day, Justin bought his fans hot chocolate and played them some of his new music. Justin loves his fans.
I see. So, this was really TMZ cheaply playing up on the fact that we all know Justin Bieber to be a jerk, when all the kid was doing, as many teenage boys have done, was laughing with his friends as he spit off of a high thing. That's all! What teenage boy hasn't gone up to a high thing and then, as if mandated by some powerful force — Hormonious, Greek god of video games and b.o. stink — spit off of it? They all do it. It's natural. Nothing to be ashamed of. And that's all Justin was doing on that hotel balcony on that fateful day. There were no fans there. Just, y'know, whoever else was walking under the balcony on a busy Toronto street. TMZ says this is horse hooey, that a "a reputable photo agency" took the photos (a reputable photo agency that makes money taking pictures of teens spitting), and they're legit. So. Do you believe this PR person's tale? Do you trust TMZ's claims of truth? You must pick a side. There can be no ambivalence here. Not when so very much is at stake. Spitgate: What is your take? [Us Weekly]
If you're like most people, at some point since Memorial Day — while you've trudged to the subway in the stickily blistering humid heat, or sat idling in exhaust fumes as you tried to squeeze one lousy beach day out of all the overly air conditioned and fluorescent-lit banal misery of a summer spent working because you are an adult now and that's what adults do — you have stopped, put down the sweaty glass of vodka-something that you've been drinking while leaning against the window fan in your oven apartment, and thought, "I wonder how Gwyneth Paltrow's summer is going." And now we have an answer. Well, more answers! Last week we learned that Gwyneth ate clams in the Hamptons. And this week we're told that Paltrow, a rain stick made of birch bark and angels' teeth, went to Rhode Island. Of all places! The Hamptons make sense, but after that, if she was continuing her U.S. vacation with her Oilily-swaddled family, I'd expect Gwyneth Paltrow to head to some pristine mountain perch in Telluride or rambling old-money estate in Maine. But nope, just Rhode Island. Block Island, to be exact. Where she and Chris and the kids, Parsnip and Mordecai, did things like eat ice cream and buy "fun hats." Well, OK, so it was only Chris and the kids who were spotted doing that, but that should imply that Gwyneth was there too somewhere. (Though she can't have been that close by. I mean, "fun hats"? I'm just not sure that Gwyneth would allow that. Hats of some kind to be sure, but not just any old dumpy Rhode Island "fun" hat. That should have been supervised. "Lovely hat," "fetching hat," "whimsical hat"? Those are all hats that Gwyneth Paltrow would buy for her children. But simply "fun hats"? I'm just not sure.) Between this and Taylor Swift buying that old haunted mansion in Watch Hill, is Rhode Island the new celebrity hotspot?? Is it returning to its old Newport glory days?? Let's hope not. Let the celebrities have Martha's Vineyard. And keep Rhode Island for the regular, unassuming, quietly rich people. [Page Six]
Speaking of Taylor Swift, here's a video in which the male staff of TMZ snicker at the singer's throwback-y, 1940s-ish bathing costume. They don't like the bottoms, because they look like "grandma's diaper" or some such nonsense. The few girls in the office meekly say "I think they're cute..." and then the voice over guy — oh what demon is that, what creature come splashing terribly out of the river Styx is he? — sarcastically says, "You go, gals! Speaking your mind is totally worth repelling every man at the beach." Which is a really terrific sentiment, isn't it? That the only point of ever wearing anything, if you're a woman, is to attract men. I mean that's maybe a Women's Studies 101 kind of a thing to gripe about, I guess, but it's still so gross. Very gross. And especially that it's the literal trash dumps at TMZ saying it. All those wheezing clumps of hair and T-shirt. What do they know about looking good? Not much! But they dumbly and inelegantly try to make yuk-yuks about a nice swimsuit anyway. Oh well. Here's a gross thing. Won't you watch it? [TMZ]
Phew, some nice news. Evan Rachel Wood and her husband Jamie Bell are new parents. Wood gave birth to a baby boy over the weekend. So, good for them. Good for all of them. I mean, the idea that little Billy Elliot is out there in the world, getting married and procreating, and that time terribly marches on despite all we do to stop it, that little kids who delighted the world once are now strapping adults with their own children delighting them, is a terrifying one. But other than that, good for them. [People]
Jennifer Lopez wanted to be on The Voice, but The Voice said no. She offered her services for this season's big finale — she'd perform a ditty and everyone would win; audience, artist, producers, everyone — but they said no, because of "scheduling." It seems that Lopez was also maybe sniffing around in the hopes of getting a coaching gig. But The Voice does not seem interested. No wonder, what with that Idol stink all over her. They don't want to mess with that. The Voice is big and loud and awful and ascendant! They don't need J.Lo's old, Glowing-but-dying energy haunting this nascent thing. No thanks. They'll take... Shakira instead. Huh. Wait. Maybe they aren't actually thinking this through. [Page Six]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.