I need to take a deep breath before I tell this story because it’s not my proudest moment.
Years ago when I was editing a certain weekly magazine some photos of Geoffrey Rush in a swimming pool with a young woman were sent to us by a photo agency.
They looked rather … intimate.
So we sent a copy of one to his PR or agent or someone like that and asked for a comment on who she was.
Geoffrey was starring in some sort of major Hollywood movie at the time and was top of mind for readers so we decided to take a leap of faith and buy them while we waited for his PR or agent or whoever to get back to us.
We waited a week or two.
Still no answer.
So I got itchy fingers and published them. With a few leading paragraphs saying we didn’t know who his mystery woman was but they seemed to have a strong … rapport … or something like that.
Monday morning my poor PA got a call from Geoffrey’s very angry wife, demanding to speak to the editor.
Now I hate speaking to people on the phone at the best of times … let alone when it’s someone’s incensed partner.
But I knew I’d better take the call. She wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“Hello?” I said tentatively.
“This is MRS. GEOFFREY. RUSH. How are you?”
“Better than you,” I offered meekly. (Upon reflection that possibly wasn’t the most sensitive and thoughtful thing to say.)
Mrs Geoffrey Rush proceeded to tear strips off me for the next 15 minutes, pointing out that the “mystery woman” in the photos was a friend of the couple’s daughter and they’d all been frolicking in the pool together at the time the photo was taken.
Ah … thanks for that photographer … might have been handy information at the time of the sale.
My rather appalling defense was that Geoffrey’s PR, agent, whoever, hadn’t gotten back to us.
But I still felt like a bit of a heel.
OK, a lot of a heel. Because at least in the case of Anthony La Paglia and the La Pudgier incident, it was an honest mistake.
I hope I never meet MRS. GEOFFREY. RUSH. in the flesh. She sounded scary. All posh and filled with righteous anger (also a little entertaining with the whole MRS. GEOFFREY. RUSH schtick.)
But at least she stands up for her man.
Good for her.
I promise I’ll never do it again. Ethical gossip all the way …