“I have Social Disease,” Andy Warhol once said. “I have to go out every night,” added the artist. “If I stay home one night, I start spreading rumors to my dogs.”
While most rumors about the famous are fleeting, some of them last much longer than 15 minutes--and prove to be denial-resistant, no matter how many times spokespeople have attempted to kill them.
Herewith, we examine the Ebola of celebrity gossip in 2014.
RUMOR: The music world’s ultimate power couple--Beyoncé and Jay Z--is no longer drunk in love
SEARCH RESULTS: 8,420,000
THE REAL DEAL: TMZ wasn’t the only three-letter news source that kept the rumor mill churning all year long. “Rumors of trouble in paradise started after the now infamous elevator incident in May…there were whispers that divorce was on the horizon,” reported CNN in September, referring to one of the most overanalyzed viral videos of 2014. In it, Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, appeared to be getting in some impromptu kick-boxing practice on her brother-in-law after NYC’s Met Gala. Even Time found this to be a newsworthy story, reporting that the couple renewed their vows in October despite ongoing buzz about an imminent breakup. A source close to the couple insists to ETonline: “The media made it all up.” Now, however, the story has already shifted to chatter about a new addition to America’s royal family. “Forget those divorce rumors!” announced the Hollywood Life blog this week. “Beyoncé and Jay Z are allegedly expecting their second child together, a new report claims. And this time, the “XO” singer is hoping for a boy! One thing is for certain: If Beyoncé is hoping for anything these days, it’s that people stop speculating that a modern woman cannot have a successful career as well as a successful marriage.
RUMOR: Invasion of the booty snatchers
SEARCH RESULTS: 4,730,000 (Kim Kardashian); 3,540,000 (Nicki Minaj); 2,000,000 (Iggy Azalea)
THE REAL DEAL: This trio of female stars can’t seem to put the gossip about alleged “fake cakes”--are they implants or injections?--behind them. Minaj and Azalea have even been plagued by stories claiming that their plumped-up booties literally exploded while Kardashian went to great lengths to prove that hers is still in one piece by exposing her naked, oiled-up derriere on the cover of Paper magazine. One fact is similarly obvious: These ladies are tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes.
RUMOR: Illuminati is everywhere, always, forever
SEARCH RESULTS: 14,400,000
THE REAL DEAL: Madonna is a master of controversy, so leave it to her to get everyone buzzing about the alleged Illuminati again. In one of the just-released tracks titled--what else?--“Illuminati,” from her forthcoming album, she name checks everyone from Obama to Oprah. Coincidentally (or WAS it?), New York magazine recently ran the story: “Decoding those lingering Jay Z Illuminati rumors.” But hey, isn’t Jay Z allegedly too busy cheating on Beyoncé to run a secret celebrity society? Make up your mind, rumor mongers!
RUMOR: Bruce Jenner is test-driving a new body
SEARCH RESULTS: 258,000
THE REAL DEAL: Jenner’s newly divorced wife, Kris, did not exactly deny reports that he is transitioning his gender when she spoke to ET in October. "I don't know what he’s going through right now,” she said of the rumor. Physical changes kept popping up, and each was treated as if it were a smoking gun: The long locks, the suspiciously smooth legs, the hot-pink nails. The latest speculation? “Breast implants and hormones in the works,” according to Radar Online, while In Touch claims that he’s “changing his name to Agnes once he transitions into a woman.” (What, no butt injections?) Whatever is going on, the most gossip-inducing family in America has closed ranks and kept to a consistent “who cares?” tone in their response. Son Brody’s commentary was short and sweet: “He’s living his life and he’s extremely happy.”
RUMOR: Jennifer Aniston has a baby on board
SEARCH RESULTS: 60,100,000 THE REAL DEAL: Aniston's womb has launched a thousand tabloid covers--and she’s over it. “I don't like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women--that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated,” she told the January 2015 issue of Allure. She added: “This continually is said about me: that I was so career-driven and focused on myself; that I don't want to be a mother, and how selfish that is.” Now, at least, Aniston has the perfect opportunity to prove that maternal instincts and movie roles are not mutually exclusive. “Jennifer Aniston’s baby dreams have finally come true as she’s welcomed a baby boy!” reported Radar Online recently. “Jen’s punk half-brother AJ Aniston--the son of her dad, Days of Our Lives star John Aniston and his second wife, Sherry Rooney--have made the superstar a proud auntie!” Congrats! Sorry that will do absolutely nothing to stop the speculation.
SEARCH RESULTS: 38,800,000
THE REAL DEAL: Buzzfeed’s Sept. 10 post, “A Full History of Ariana Grande’s Alleged Diva Behavior”--alleged being the operative word--received 1,501,484 views. Among the numerous reports about Grande from various media outlets? Insisting to be shot from her left side only, snubbing young fans and offending her life coach—who eventually quit. Most recently, after denying tabloid rumors that she forces handlers to carry her around like a baby, photos surfaced last week that showed her getting carried around like a baby by handlers (and Joe Jonas). This week rapper Big Sean came to the rescue of his much maligned girlfriend during a radio interview, calling the rumors “ridiculous.” He insisted: “She don’t get carried,” but then recalled a memory of her, yes, getting carried. “I was with her one time and she got carried but it was 'cause her foot was bleeding,” Sean said. “She busted her foot, like, you know, dancing and stuff.” Tiny dancer, big attitude? Well, that depends on whether you ask her boyfriend--or her former Nickelodeon costars.