Keeping Tabs

The Insider

Who’s qualified to give celebrity secrets to the tabloids? Why, you are! 

Reading through the latest batch of tabloid offerings has Keeping Tabs contemplating a change of career. She is becoming increasingly convinced that she has what it takes to become one of those “insiders” the tabloids rely on so heavily for dish—or at least what passes for dish in Tabloidland. But rest assured that Keeping Tabs will do nothing hasty; she’s first going to spend the requisite amount of time praying for troubled Vanna White, as mandated by the plea (“Pray for Vanna!”) on the cover of this week’s Star. Come to think of it, while she’s at it, she’ll also put in a good word for WWF wrestler Chyna; the Globe recently reported that the poor woman’s “boob explode[d]” in the ring.

No, Keeping Tabs doesn’t really pal around with any celebrities. But from what she can tell, that’s not a prerequisite. In fact, you can probably do it right from your very own living room. Here’s all it takes.

Job requirement No. 1: State the obvious. The very, very, obvious.

As was widely reported in the mainstream press, Posh Spice, a k a Victoria Beckham, recently received some threatening mail, including, says the Globe, “a defaced photo of her[self] with a bullet drawn on it and blood spurting from a head wound” and a letter saying, “You are going to get what’s coming to you!” Now while Keeping Tabs has never met Posh Spice, she would venture to guess that such an ordeal would be rather distressing. And, as it turns out, that’s all you really need to know to provide inside dirt to the Globe! A “source close to the couple” provides this stunning insight into the Beckhams’ emotional state: “Victoria and [husband] David were extremely upset by the hate messages.”

Similarly, in its one-year-anniversary look at the JFK Jr. plane crash, the Globe quotes an “insider” as saying that “Losing two daughters was a devastating blow to” Ann Freeman, the mother of Carolyn and Lauren Bessette. And the folks at the Globe need to cut loose their “source” for a story called “Survivor Exposed! What you WON’T find out on TV!” The “source” tells us, for instance, that contestant Gervase “became very protective of [fellow contestant] Ramona, sticking up for her when she got sick and couldn’t work,” and that Susan “told Stacey she wouldn’t vote against her, but she did—and Stacey had to leave!”—both of which the 90 bazillion people watching the show could see perfectly well for themselves. Ditto for that “setside source” who lets on that if one of the four main characters on Sex and the City—a show about the exploits of single women in Manhattan—were to get married, it “would alter the basic idea of the show.”

Job requirement No. 2: Read the press release.

Keeping Tabs is a little bit miffed that the Enquirer didn’t ask her for the inside scoop on the wedding of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and actor Adrian Pasdar. The insider they chose let on that the couple “met last May at Dixie Chick Emily Erwin’s wedding to singer/songwriter Charlie Robison.” Talk about inside! Right here in the press release put out by the Chicks’ media reps—which Keeping Tabs received as a member of the working press—it plainly says that “Maines and Pasdar met at the May 1999 wedding of band member Emily Erwin and singer/songwriter Charlie Robison.”

Job requirement No. 3: The vaguer your evidence, the better. 

The tabs are awash in rumors—vehemently denied by her spokespeople—that Lisa Marie Presley is either a) married, b) pregnant, or c) some combination of the two. The Globe explains that Presley, “normally slim as a swizzle stick,” has been looking a little less, well, swizzly. And there’s more: “the King’s fiercely independent daughter was clinging like a vine around her fiancé, singer-songwriter John Oszjaca. She purred with pleasure when he nuzzled her neck in public and acted like they were sharing a great big secret.” As if any further proof were needed, the Globe turns to—naturally—an “insider” who confirms that “all the signs are that Lisa Marie has a baby on the way. She and John seemed like they were in a world of their own and knew something that no one else knew.” Those aren’t the signs that Keeping Tabs learned in junior-high health class, but we’ll take the insider’s word for it.

Job requirement No. 4: Share the wealth.

Reading the accounts of Oprah Winfrey’s father’s wedding, Keeping Tabs was overcome by déjà vu. Despite their disagreements over the reason for Oprah’s early departure—was she politely trying not to steal the limelight, as the Star suggested, or had she “wilted under the pressure” of too many questions about her own marital plans, as the Enquirer had it?—there was a startling sameness to the accounts of her attire. “Oprah came in looking very summery in a blue metallic three quarter length jacket and pantsuit with a big-brimmed white hat,” an “eyewitness” tells the Star. “Stedman [Graham, Oprah’s longtime companion] was dressed to the nines in a tuxedo.” Hmmm. Funny how the Globe’s eyewitness had such eerily similar observations: “Oprah looked summery in a blue metallic three-quarters-length jacket and pantsuit and a big white hat with a wide brim. Stedman was dressed to the nines in a tuxedo.”

Speaking of weddings, we’d be remiss not to pass along the news that, according to the Globe, Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy plan to tie the knot this summer. “Friends” tell the Globe that the two have held off on taking the plunge because they’ve been unable to curb their jealousy over their respective “steamy on-camera love scenes.” But all that apparently changed when Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick, were guests at Puffy’s July 4 party. When Puffy noticed “how happily married … sizzling Sarah” and her husband are, he reportedly had a classic tabloid epiphany. “Says a pal: ‘Puffy told Jennifer, “Man if they can make their marriage work with all the sex scenes Sarah does, so can we. We’re getting married!” ’ ” Let Keeping Tabs be the first to say mazel tov!

Job Requirement No. 5: Say whatever the hell you feel like. It’s the tabloids, for God’s sake!

The tabs are currently scrambling to come to a consensus on what caused the surprising breakup of the nine-year marriage of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, whose troubles apparently eluded tabloid radar. (Many reputable news sources report that Ryan is involved with actor Russell Crowe, who, just a week or so before the story broke, was said by the Enquirer to be “smitten” with Australian model Erica Baxter.) But it was also the Enquirer that provided the hands-down winner for most amusing Ryan/Quaid/Crowe story. Wisely avoiding the complicated issue of what really went wrong, this week’s Enquirer reports that Ryan and Quaid are now locked in a “bitter battle” over custody of their … guru, the mellifluously named Gurumayi, who “practices a New Age brand of yoga that Meg and Dennis both dig,” according to a “source.” Ryan is said to have happened upon Gurumayi first and to be more devoted to her, given that Quaid has “consulted with other swamis such as—no!—Gurumayi’s rival guru, Satchidananda.” Well, that did it. Ryan is “not willing to share,” says the source. “She wants Gurumayi to be hers exclusively. Knowing that Dennis is using the same guru would just ruin everything for her, and she feels that steering clear of Gurumayi is the least he can do.” The very least, for sure. Keeping Tabs has always said there’s nothing worse than a guru-hogger.