Stars and their agents in the US and Europe have reacted angrily to the news that tabloid newspapers regularly bought and published stories that were fictitious. According to the Guardian newspaper today, the team behind the Starsuckers film that opens later this month sold the tabloids bogus medical records about celebrities such as Hugh Grant, Guy Ritchie and Ricky Gervais. None of the newspapers that published the stories made any effort to check the integrity of the information.
A girl band singer who was falsely reported to have undergone breast augmentation said: "I think it's disgusting. They have no right to poke their noses into my breasts. The only person who has the right to handle my breasts is my agent. That's what an agent's for: controlling what the papers say about my boobs. They should be ashamed of themselves, printing stuff like that."
A television presenter who had previously claimed her weight loss was down to a popular diet plan, went ballistic when one tabloid claimed that she had actually had a gastric band fitted. "They ruined everything," she said. "I could have lost the contract to flog the diet plan on TV, because no-one would have believed it worked. The fact that I did actually have a gastric band was information that my agent alone was entitled to release. And the whole point about news management is timing. He would only release that kind of information after my contract had ended and when my book about my 'weight loss woes' came out."
A Hollywood actor who had apparently 'embarked on a two day bender involving drink, drugs and whores', claimed: "It's crazy. My agent would only punt that kind of story if he wanted to spice up my public profile. But in my latest film, I play a timid bank manager who's more of a slippers and cocoa type. Maybe if get a part in the next Tarantino's movie, an item like that would do wonders."
His agent said, "If anyone's going to sell cockamamie stories to the press, I'll be the one who does it. What's the point of bogus news, unless it's to publicise my client's latest movie?"