Hollywood: a town cloaked in secrets and lies. Originally, in the golden days of Hollywood, where everyone had a talent – and celebrities were respected, we believed implicitly in the celebrity leading clean and honourable lives. The studios were able to suppress any scandal which could threaten the careers of their stars – and managed to with a great deal of panache. When the studios ceded power to the agents, managers and publicists of the individual star, it was their role to keep the candle burning by maintaining the illusions and white lies that kept their stars marketable, successful and – above all – financially viable. And when celebrities started to get loose and reckless we noticed. When they started to stem from reality television shows and celebrity parents we embraced them, These people lacked talent and more importantly lacked class and sophisication. So the boundaries of the celebrity relationship started to change quickly. Privacy was ignored for many, a forgotten concept for others and, with our obsession with the celebrity growing and growing, secrets started to creep out faster and faster. Those cover ups and the unknown facets of celebrity lives has allowed the magazine rags a huge business with publications looking to discover gold dust whether possible. If they have to make a few lies and fabrications of their own to sell copies, they’ll do that too.
And it is the National Enquirer that has became the boss of fact and fiction. The special areas they cover include: sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs and celebrities carted off to rehab, dodgy bribes, bad behaviour, diva behaviour, violence, extra-marital affairs, affairs in general, the list can go on and on really.
For hot messes like Britney Spears, Chris Brown and Lindsay Lohan we have been the voyeurs into their breakdown stages – a week or so of unrelenting coverage as we watch the celebrity lose the plot in front of a paparazzi. Britney’s hairless, knickerless week of madness was gripping news, Chris Brown using his fists on superstar Rhianna had everybody talking and Lindsay Lohan’s general last few years have guaranteed designated weeks of wonderful coverage about Lindsay’s latest (drugs busts, home arrests, twitter spats etc), which people like myself can’t get enough of. This week the celebrity caught under the radar is John Travolta: a superstar whose reputation is curdling fast. John has been a major player in Hollywood since the 70s, where he played a bad-ass jock in Carrie; danced to The Bee Gees’ melodic harmonies in Saturday Night Fever and danced and sang his way into Sandy’s leather pants in the perennial favourite, Grease.
John flying high in the glory days.
For a while his career went off the boil as he went from dirge to dirge, before having a minor success in the Look Who’s Talking series, with a co-star whose fluctuating weight is just as noteworthy as his, Kirsty Alley. His big star turn in Pulp Fiction however meant that John could always be guaranteed work, as he was the dude who had a legendary conversation about hamburgers. From then on he was cool and slick. So Johnny will be hoping he can hang on to that image as he attempts to survive the week ahead. So far there have been three lawsuits with the possibility of ‘one hundred’ more, although one has already been dropped and another not being taken to trial. Currently we have had five men come forward to say that John has behaved in an improper, sleazy fashion. The damage is mounting fast, although kudos are in order for John’s lawyer who is deftly deflecting the lawsuits as best he can, referring in direct terms that these lawsuits are all hack-handed and all a sort of pulpy fiction his client barely has time to acknowledge. The news couldn’t fail to hit red alert status when it related to seedy massage parlours all over LA, our attentions by then hit fever pitch. The stories, if we piece them together revolves around John paying big bucks for a session and being happy to discuss the ‘bad deeds’ he had to do to secure a television role with Jewish producers (if the stories are a work of fiction, it was a deft touch of the first masseur to add the Jewish tag in for maximum authenticity). Whilst divulging this fairly big news to a stranger, John would peel away the towel hiding his gluts. After that John would quickly get up close and personal with the masseur with those (surprisingly) nimble, flabby digits of his. The result, supposedly at this present stage is hundreds of people queuing for million dollar compensation payments.John’s famous kiss.
John’s wife and children must be reeling from the revelations and the Church of Scientology can’t be too delighted either. They must have to ultimately decide whether to cut the hand that feeds the church or dispel him back to the parlours that seem to litter LA. Luckily if he gets desperate he could always ask advice from his bbf, Oprah’s best friend Gail, who has spent the best part of two decades having to deny rumours she’s having a relationship with Oprah.
The research for the first lawsuit, now dropped, was fascinating. We tracked that John was in NY, as opposed to LA on that day eating dinner at Mr Chow’s. He spent $382 and left a $100 tip. Some have speculated that with a bill that mammoth, he must have been eating with a few people. Or at least his portly bbfs, Oprah, Kirsty Alley or the fat kid from Hairspray. Although having said that, based on the size of John Travolta, it’s not overly surprising that he could rake up a $400 bill all by himself. Others have suggested that John, being a trained pilot, he could have been dashed back to LA to put his grand plan of getting a masseur under his belt by the end of the night. Conspiracy theories begun quickly. This was probably gawkers pushing the envelope of reality, but people were enjoying adding an extra level of grease to an already awkward situation for John.
A family united?
John had two major slurs to his name prior to the recent oral explosions that have shaken up Hollywood. The first occurred when his supposed friend, Carrie Fisher implied that it was an open secret he was gay, telling the Advocate that everyone knew and ‘she was sorry he wasn’t comfortable about it.’ It’s hard to tell whether she remotely considered his wife and children when she happily divulged these details to a magazine such as The Advocate, however his wife can only have been thrilled with these little slips of tongues she had. In fact she probably must have demanded a muffin basket from Carrie for would have been the metaphorical shaving of her beard – if you get what I mean. Maybe though, if Kelly really bought in to the whole Scientology thing, she could have confided in the church which she’s been a prominent member of for a number of years. I’ve heard if you can drop a few seven digit donations, salvation somewhere in the universe is possible for people like John and Kelly Travolta.
On top of this rather awkward declaration from a friend of his, an article spread like wildfire over the internet a few years ago. Entitled The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta, it was an article that so incensed the star his lawyer threatened to sue. As it mocked, very openly, John’s sexual history so far, referring to his penchant for bad wigs and his wandering genitals. John was then further knocked for a 66 when a book called You’ll Never Spa in This Town again was published. The salacious revelations were never ending from this novel. Riper than the juiciest of California’s fruits, John’s habits, desires and obsessive sexual urges were candidly unveiled for the public as the author liberally caved in to the several meetings he’d shared with Travolta, displaying an almost cathartic pleasure in ringing in the dollars from such a huge celebrity icon.
And this week looks like the rumour mill is just to start all over again. John was apparently so infatuated with his Grease co-star, that he tried to make a move on Jeff Conaway whilst he was unconscious. Whilst I’ll let you discover the details for yourself, it’s clear that nobody will be able to watch Grease now without the image of Danny getting with Sandy, only to ditch her for his fellow leather-loving best friend. The revelation was seedy, shocking and hugely gripping to the public. And considering I thought the lawsuits would be the end of the week for John Travolta, it looks like a thirty plus career is bringing about a lot of past-revelations, be they true or fictious, that have been saved for a rainy day. John will be dying to get back to basics. Fly his planes, wears his make up and wigs (complete with a generous amount of hairspray of course), make a few movies, spend time with his two kids and wife (and potentially visit a few saunas)… the stuff he did before everyone got on his coattails.
Whatever happens, it goes to show just how intense one week in Hollywood can be for the rich and famous.