Keeping Tabs

Marriage, Death, and Leo

The tabloids abandon Clinton and return to the Hollywood spectacle.

President Clinton disappears from the tabloids this month as they return to their classic themes: lousy marriages, loss, licentiousness, and Leo.

The Globe, the Star, and the National Enquirer all agree the 10-month marriage of Titanic director James Cameron and Terminator actress Linda Hamilton–his fourth–is over. There appear to be two reasons: 1) his continuing affair with Titanic actress Suzy Amis and 2) according to the Globe, Hamilton’s realization–along with the billion people who watched the Academy Awards–that he’s a “jerk.” Cameron and Hamilton were an ex-couple (they have a 5-year-old daughter) when they suddenly married last year. It’s usually a bad sign when, as the Star reports, your friends are more surprised by your wedding than by your separation. The marriage permanently unraveled, says the Globe, when the director moved out of his marital home a day after he was spotted making out with Amis in his Humvee. Ah, romance! Most shocking of all is the Enquirer’s assertion that Hamilton did not sign a prenuptial agreement. According to the Star, the actress wants half of the director’s Titanic earnings, which could be $100 million.

Enough money for a B-2 bomber is also at stake in the marital woes of Home Improvement star Tim Allen. Last week the tabs were reporting that if the sitcom star did not go into rehab, his wife of 14 years, Laura, was going to leave him. This week he is in rehab and, says the Star, his wife wants out anyway. For Allen’s part, according to the Enquirer, his stay at Promises rehab center in Malibu (where Christian Slater is another guest) has made him realize he wants out. If one of them gets their wish it could make a big dent in what the Star estimates is a $110 million fortune. The tabs leave the impression that the Promises counseling sessions are patched directly into their newsrooms. According to the Enquirer Allen said part of the reason he is having so many problems right now is that he is unhappily married. The publication says he’s asked his wife not to come for the Saturday family picnic. But he has had one special visitor, says the Star: his lawyer.

There are mixed signals about the state of the marriage of newlyweds actress Sharon Stone and San Francisco Examiner Executive Editor Phil Bronstein. According to the Star, when they’re together in their L.A. home, they make love incessantly. “From the kitchen to the garage, they’ve christened practically every room.” Maybe a session in the broom closet killed their passion because, according to the Enquirer, “the honeymoon is over.” Stone wants her husband to give up his job and work in Hollywood, but he “hates the Hollywood scene,” reports the publication. He has also “fumed to friends, ‘There’s no way I am going to give up my life and become a Hollywood trophy husband.’ ” This has left some friends with no option but to start “taking bets on how long the marriage lasts.”

T he deaths of Linda McCartney and Tammy Wynette were widely covered by the rest of the press, but one of the tabloids’ special missions is to give you celebrities’ final words and farewells. The tabs were certainly taken in by Paul McCartney’s subterfuge about where his wife spent her last days. To protect the family’s privacy, a spokesman told the press she’d died in Santa Barbara, Calif., when she actually died at a ranch the family owns in Arizona. So it seems unlikely that, at the end of her life, she said, as the Enquirer reports, “I want to smell the Pacific,” or that an “insider” saw her there.

McCartney issued a statement saying he held his wife in her final moments and told her they were riding horses together on a fine spring day. Linda “closed her eyes and gently slipped away.” The Enquirer preferred that her life end this way: Linda whispered to Paul, “I love you. I want you to be brave. We’ll meet again to continue our love affair.”

The Star had its own version of her parting words. ” ‘Give me one last kiss,’ Linda weakly begged Paul minutes before she closed her eyes for the last time. ‘I won’t leave you,’ he whispered. ‘I’ll always love you.’ ” The Star, too, had her dying in Santa Barbara, although its own reporting turned up a neighbor in Arizona who said the family was on its ranch shortly before her death.

The Globe also fell for the Santa Barbara story, and it has the most florid deathbed scene. ” ‘There is no woman on earth who can take your place,’ sources say a heartbroken Paul McCartney sobbed to his dying wife Linda as he tenderly clutched her hand. ‘I will never marry again.’ ” It seems unlikely Linda would have wanted, or Paul have made, such a promise. (It is a vow Thomas Jefferson did make to his dying wife. Keeping it may have led to the situation with that woman Miss Hemmings.)

M atrimony was also very much a part of the tabs’ coverage of the death of country singer Wynette. Although she was only 55 when she died, she managed to cram in five marriages. Her first was to one Euple Byrd, who, reports the Star, when she drove off to Nashville to become a singer, shouted after her: “Dream on! Dream on!” Years later, when Wynette was signing autographs after one of her concerts, there was Byrd, standing in line. She turned his picture of her over and signed on the back, “Dream on! Dream on! Love, Tammy.”

There probably aren’t many fifth marriages that last 20 years, but Wynette’s did. Her last husband, and manager, George Richey, was more than overcome by her death. At the funeral home the night after she died, reports the Star, “He ran up to the casket and tried to lift Tammy right out of it, saying, ‘Come on honey, I’m taking you home.’ ” During her funeral, the Star says, “he lunged from his front pew–and tearfully wrapped his arms around the flower-strewn casket of his wife.” All this led a friend to conclude, reports the Globe, “He won’t be long behind his beloved Tammy.”

On the sex front, nonpresidential illicit encounters are all the tabs can muster this month. The Globe has an interview with the 14-year-old boy who at age 12 became the lover of the most reviled teacher in America, Mary Kay LeTourneau. LeTourneau, 36, is back in jail, pregnant a second time by the teen-ager–their daughter is now a year old. LeTourneau was the boy’s teacher in both second and sixth grades, and he describes their relationship thus: “When I was six or seven, she encouraged me in my drawing. … We were friends. But my feelings toward Mary became more romantic when I reached the 6th grade.” Yessiree. It seems the teacher could have taught Stone and Bronstein a thing or two: The boy describes how they “made love in nearly every room of her home while her husband Steve was away. At night we sometimes had sex outside on the deck–and even in a swing hanging from a tree in her front yard.”

Just when you start thinking private school vouchers would curb such situations, the Globe throws you a curve. The tabloid interviews 81-year-old actor Kirk Douglas, who reveals that his English teacher seduced him when he was 14. “Mrs. Livingston changed my life,” he says. She introduced Douglas not only to sex but also to poetry. He says she gave him the confidence to be an actor, and he ended up helping to support her at the end of her life.

The Star covers George Michael’s arrest for exposing himself in a men’s room at Los Angeles’ Will Rogers Memorial Park as if it’s writing a review. A “close friend” of the singer says: “He’s a performer through and through. But he needs help.” The arrest–and Michael’s subsequent acknowledgment of his homosexuality–did give the Globe the opportunity to print pictures it had from last year of Michael cruising the same park. And both the Globe and the Enquirer note Rogers’ most famous quotation: “I never met a man I didn’t like.” The Enquirer also helpfully contacted Earl Goss, the father of Michael’s current live-in lover, Kenny Goss. The heartfelt but likely ineffective reaction from Goss Sr., who lives in Coleman, Texas, was, “I’ve got to talk to Kenny and sort this out. Kenny needs to come back home to Texas.”

Finally, the tabs deliver on their implicit promise to reveal every stray fact about Leonardo DiCaprio. Since the actor is only 23, this means scouring a rather meager past. So we learn from the Globe that as a 14-year-old he took classmate Cecilia Garcia out on a date. She recalls: “He looked in my eyes, put his arm around me and kissed me on the lips. It was a dry, short peck and it felt weird.” Perhaps Leo later had a helpful English teacher: According to the account in the Star of more a recent former girlfriend, swimsuit model Kristen Zang, “he’s a terrific kisser on top of everything else.” But what he’s not, the Globe documents, is a terrific spaghetti eater. A series of photos shot through a restaurant window shows the Titanic star slurping up his pasta. He obviously needs the carbohydrates. According to the Star, Leo was romancing model Kate Moss, but she dumped him when she learned he had cheated on her with another model. But, the Enquirer reported, Leo has turned his interest from model Naomi Campbell to Cuban model Carla Paneka. It’s probably lucky that, according to the Enquirer, Leo was rebuffed by “Baby Spice” Emma Bunton while he was in London. All this has led to Leo now finding his life “a living hell,” the Enquirer says. So he is taking the next step every young star must take. That is, talking about going to India to work with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Says Mother Teresa’s successor, Sister Nirmala, to the Enquirer, “Of course we would welcome Leonardo! The door is always open.”