Keeping Tabs

Fear and Foreboding in Tabloidland

Fretting about the horrible, horrible things that might happen to celebrities. 

Keeping Tabs has always thought that spring was a rather lighthearted time of year, what with spring break, spring fever, spring-cleaning, and the like. But this is apparently not at all the case in Tabloidland. The past two weeks have seen the tabloids’ collective brow knit into a furrow of mythological proportions, with everyone finding something to worry about or fear, most notably that someone else is about to plunge into despair and/or die. It’s hard to imagine there are enough deep ends in Hollywood for everyone to go off.

As always, the Globe is right on the case, with a story about Elián González’s cousin Marisleysis, who is “so distraught she could take her own life, top doctors warn.” (You know things are really dire when the tabs call in the mental health professionals.) “Everybody” is said to be quite worried that Marisleysis is headed “over the edge,” including “top Miami psychologist Merry Haber,” who, without being bothered with actually having to examine her, is quoted as saying that Marisleysis “might very well make a suicide gesture.” (No word on why the eminent Dr. Haber merits being referred to with the plural “docs,” but we suspect it’s because she’s that good.) Rosie O’Donnell also gets a consultation-by-tabloid-shrink, this time with “expert psychologist” Jamie Turndorf warning that if Rosie doesn’t stop her “do-gooding,” she could “exhaust herself and end up depressed and even seriously ill.” Keeping Tabs was particularly fond of the Globe’s bulleted list of Rosie’s dangerous acts of codependency, including the fact that “the $500,000 she recently won on celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will go to charity” and that she “helped collect food, clothes and money for a new van for a couple who were facing the poorhouse after adopting 10 homeless siblings.” Donating money to charity? Rewarding good Samaritans? We’re thinking institutionalization might be called for.

Also said to be just a whisper away from the edge is ‘50s icon Sandra Dee, about whom friends are said to be “really concerned” after a recent “life-and-death” health scare, says the National Enquirer. The Star reports that Dee’s son Dodd Darin is “worried sick” about his mother and is ambivalent about whether or not to donate a kidney to her; a pal confides that Dodd “knows from experience that if his mom is allowed to go home with a new kidney, she could easily succumb once again to her self-destructive lifestyle and his sacrifice would be in vain.” Other predictions are equally dire, with Dee’s pal John Cohan telling the Enquirer that he’s “terribly afraid she may be on the verge of suicide” and yet another insider explaining that “one day soon I’m expecting to get that call and we will all have lost a wonderful person.” He or she might want to compare notes with the family friend of frail Katharine Hepburn who told the Globe that friends are “bracing [themselves] for bad news that could come at any moment.” Keeping Tabs remains hopeful for Hepburn, despite the fact that the Globe put her photo on this week’s cover with the dreaded “Sad Last Days,” “Touching Final Photos” pairing.

Apparently, not even divine intervention could help Touched by an Angel star Roma Downey, whose tumultuous love affair with married actor Michael Nouri has driven her to the “brink of collapse” and caused her to lose 14 pounds, according to the Star. (In an even stranger twist, Nouri’s wife, who is disabled, is said to have given her blessing to the pairing, wishing her husband a “happy, normal sex life.”) “I’m worried about Roma,” an insider confides. “If she doesn’t pull herself together and start eating, I’m afraid she’s headed for a breakdown.” Keeping Tabs’ favorite worrier, however, might have to be Bobby Brown, whom the Globe reports is desperate to save his wife, Whitney Houston, from her downward spiral. Not one to sit idly by, man-of-action Brown not only reportedly took his wife on a tour of a “drug-blighted slum” to help “wake [her] up to the destructive power of drugs,” but he rented the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues in hopes of scaring her straight.

The tabloid worrywarts are even fretting about hypotheticals. Britain’s Prince Charles, for example, is reportedly quite worried about his son William’s having “flipped” for “Donald Trump’s leggy model daughter Ivanka.” (Personally, Keeping Tabs would be more concerned by a recent tabloid report that had William “dying” to join the boy band ‘N Sync.) But much like William’s putative romance with Britney Spears, this one has yet to get off the ground and consists entirely of William having invited Ivanka to his upcoming birthday party. Charles, says the Globe, has nonetheless already spun out a terrifying scenario (stay with us, here): He “worries that William could fall head over heels in love with her and start jetting off to modeling shows in Paris, Rome, Milan or New York, instead of getting on with his studies.” Charles’ concern, no doubt, arose after reading the Star’s item about Goldie Hawn, who is said to be worried about her daughter Kate Hudson “flying all over the U.S. to rendezvous” with her rocker beau Lenny Kravitz while he’s on tour.

Similarly, Cher is reportedly “furious” that her son Elijah Allman is dating a porn star because, according to a Star source, “she’s terrified that Elijah might fall into the seedy drug lifestyle that many porn stars are into and that he’ll follow in the footsteps of his father, who was big into booze and drugs in his early years with the Allman Brothers.” And there’s more: Naomi Judd is said to be worried that her daughter Ashley’s fiance, race car driver Dario Franchitti, “could get himself killed in a fiery crash” and leave her a widow. New Oscar-winner Hilary Swank has joined the worry brigade in honor of her husband, Chad Lowe, who has reportedly taken up flying after portraying John Denver in a TV movie. Swank, says the Star, is “terrified that Chad will suffer the same fate as Denver, who died in a plane crash.”

Finally, Keeping Tabs was shocked to learn from the Star that Ally McBeal star Lucy Liu was a “child sweatshop worker.” Liu apparently gave a recent interview detailing all the horrors of her Old World parents and “impoverished childhood,” including the cruelest cut of all: “I wasn’t allowed to watch Three’s Company.” Now that would really be something to worry about.