The heart wants what the heart wants – it always has. The rub is, sometimes it wants something different on Tuesday then it does on Thursday. Whether from circumstance or intoxicant, temptations overwhelm people – as was apparently the case recently with Kristen Stewart. The Twilight star issued an unusual press release just days ago, apologizing to and professing her love for boyfriend Robert Pattinson.
Her affair with Snow White and the Huntsmen director Rupert Sanders had just been bluntly brought into public consciousness by a photographer who hit the paparazzi-equivilant of Powerball. The two were caught canoodling in broad daylight in a parked car and a public park. It’s an old story in Hollywood, and can leave a reputation that can prove hard to shake.
A film set can be a hot place, and not just from the klieg lights. Many infamous affairs have had their origin there. While filming Proof of Life in 2000, co-stars Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe kicked off a world-wind affair, despite her nine years of marriage to actor Dennis Quaid. After they divorced, she tried to temper some of the negative press about her infidelity, telling InStyle, “What wasn’t in the story was the reality of my marriage. Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful.” It’s worth noting that late last year she began seeing John Mellencamp, right around the time he filed for divorce after eighteen years of marriage.
While people certainly remember that Angelina Jolie was married to Billy Bob Thornton, many forgot that he was quite seriously involved with actress Laura Dern at the time. What is it about Miss Jolie? Dern was quite candid with Talk Magazine, saying “I left home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married.”
LeAnn Rimes also received a backlash of bad PR after her marriage to dancer Dean Sheremet was capsized by hunk Eddie Cibrian. The two had met while filming the Lifetime movie Northern Lights. “I did one of the most selfish things that I possibly could do, in hurting someone else,” she later told People Magazine. “I take responsibility for everything I’ve done. I hate that people got hurt, but I don’t regret the outcome.”
When it happens in Hollywood, the guilty party’s public penalty seems to depend on how well they were liked beforehand. Usually they bounce back, though that scarlet letter does linger. It may not appear alongside their name in the opening credits, but it does occupy the minds of many moviegoers. For some, no doubt, it’s probably a turn-on.
The celebrity factor magnifies the consequences, in both scope and length. What’s most unusual about the Stewart matter is how quickly and unambiguously it has played out thus far. Her direct and immediate plea of guilt is perhaps an indicator that level heads have prevailed. After all, she may have done a terrible thing, but give her credit for responding in all the right ways. That’s assuming, of course, that the release wasn’t just to repair the PR. She was, after all, caught pretty much red-handed.
Age is also a consideration, as we have to remember how easy it is to make baffling life choices well into our twenties and beyond. Sure, people get caught up in passions, and yes, there are genuinely life changing moments that occur between two people. But a lot of this also sounds like non-grounded silliness from people who make their lives off of fantasy in the first place.
Will King is a television and media critic who splits his time as a stand up comic. He collects conspiracy theories and claims to have invented Teflon. In his spare time he follows presidential politics and all traffic signs. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
Selma: Boo Hoo!! Adultery does not simply happen “out of the blue”, although it may seem that way to the betrayed partner. It is instead the culmination of a long trail of unresolved issues. I recommend this DiscoveryGame so people have a better idea of how affairs happen.
Giulia: Affairs are absolutely terrible for everyone involved, but especially the betrayed partner. Overcoming those hurt feelings by getting the conversation started on key communication topics is a seemingly impossible thing to do. The good news is that even after something so tragic as infidelity, complete restoration is still possible! I recommend this DiscoveryGame to encourage couples to heal their heart and move forward after an affair.