Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders (in addition to Robert Pattinson and Liberty Ross) in good company. (Image: Kristen Stewart as Marylou, On the Road.) “Robert Pattinson moves out.” “Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart shed tears over cheating.” “Charlize Theron Furious with Kristen Stewart for Cheating.” “Can the Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson Romance Be Saved?” “Kristen Stewart branded a 'homewrecker.'” “Kristen Stewart Never Had Sex With Rupert Sanders, Sources Claim.” “Katy Perry Gets Cozy In A Bikini With Robert Pattinson.” WTF about that last one?
By now, even the Huli wigmen of Papua New Guinea are wondering: Will Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson remain together? Will there be a Snow White and the Huntsman 2, with Rupert Sanders at the helm? How will Summit Entertainment / Lionsgate organize the Breaking Dawn - Part 2 promo? Will the scandal help or hinder the Breaking Dawn 2 box office? Were Stewart and Pattinson ever actually a couple or was it all publicity for the Twilight movies? How could (or why would) the very private Kristen Stewart get caught with Rupert Sanders in a public place, when her relationship with Robert Pattinson has remained a very private affair?
Kristen Stewart Rupert Sanders cheating scandal: tabloid media at play
Anonymous “friends” of the two couples, public apologies, and off-the-cuff tweets have been providing online and supermarket tabloids and tabloid-wannabes -and the world's consumers of raw sewage – with purported details about how Kristen Stewart felt (“devastated”), how Robert Pattinson reacted (“angry” and “heartbroken”), how Rupert Sanders apologized (“utterly distraught”), how Liberty Ross was caught off guard (“wow”).
Well, never mind the fact that whatever happened/is happening between Stewart and Sanders and Pattinson and Ross is their business. And that very few people – perhaps only those involved – actually knew/knows what really went/is going on. And why.
Now, from a historical viewpoint, what matters (and what's fascinating) is that the film quartet, particularly Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders – the “immoral ones” – are in excellent company.
On the next couple of pages (please see link to next post below) you'll find a brief sample of major Hollywood scandals throughout the decades. We're talking top-line talent here, most of whom were able to resume their lives and careers (well, at least their careers) unharmed. Some, in fact, became even bigger stars because of the scandals.
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson movies to benefit from scandal?
As for the current to-do, expect huge grosses for Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the final installment in the Twilight movie franchise that turned Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson into household names around the world. And, if it does indeed get made, expect huge grosses for Snow White and the Huntsman 2 as well, especially if Rupert Sanders gets to direct it and Kristen Stewart returns as the titular heroine. Walter Salles' On the Road, which will reportedly open later this year, should benefit from the scandal, too, as Stewart plays a free spirit sandwiched (quite literally, it seems) between two men. Heck, perhaps even Robert Pattinson's upcoming Cosmopolis will benefit from the media furor – not to mention the underrated Bel Ami, in which Pattinson (beautifully) plays a man cheating on just about everybody and which comes out on DVD on August 7, six days before the New York premiere of Cosmopolis.
Now, beware. Regarding all those “friends” and “insider” stories alleging new revelations about the inner workings of the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders-Liberty Ross quartet, an insider who also happens to be an intimate friend and confidante to all (or most) involved told us: “Believe all those tales if you're a sick fuck with no life, and you're very, very, very stupid.” The anonymous confidante added that those taking the moral high ground in the matter “should take a good, hard look in the mirror before they start judging anyone else's supposed peccadilloes” and that “the first to start moralizing and pointing fingers are invariably the biggest, filthiest, most disgusting hypocrites.”
[“In Good Company: Rupert Sanders and Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson” continues on the next page. See link below.]
Kristen Stewart Marylou On the Road picture: Gregory Smith / Jerry Leider Company.
William Desmond Taylor murder / Mabel Normand, Mary Miles Minter
According to Hollywood lore, director William Desmond Taylor's still unsolved murder ruined the careers of actresses Mabel Normand and Mary Miles Minter in the early '20s. Normand, however, continued making movies after the scandal; her failing health may have been the reason – or at least one reason – for her less frequent output in the mid-to-late '20s. Minter, who was purportedly having an affair with the much older man (who may or may not have been gay…), apparently used the opportunity to get away from both Hollywood and her domineering mother, Charlotte Selby. In other words, Minter's career may have come to a halt because the actress herself – not the public – decided it should.
Around the same time, comedian Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle's stardom was definitely destroyed when Arbuckle found himself accused of having raped and killed (manslaughter) minor actress Virginia Rappe at a wild party.
Paul Bern suicide / Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow's career survived a nasty scandal when her husband, MGM producer Paul Bern, shot himself in their home in September 1932. Bern left behind a note that read: “Dearest Dear, Unfortuately [sic] this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and to wipe out my abject humiliation, I Love [sic] you. Paul[.] You understand that last night was only a comedy.” Harlow was to remain a top MGM star, featured opposite the likes of Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, and Cary Grant, until her unexpected death at age 26 in 1937. (See also: Jean Harlow interview with author Mark Vieira & Jean Harlow Mystery Photo.]
Errol Flynn statutory rape trial
In 1943, Errol Flynn was the accused at a statutory rape trial for allegedly having had sex with two underage teenagers – one at a time, over the course of a year. Flynn was ultimately found innocent. A ladies' man on screen, the trial in no way diminished the Warner Bros. star's popularity. (Roman Polanski, who was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, was less lucky in the '70s, though his career continued to flourish in Europe afterwards. In fact, as a writer-director, Polanski went on to win four César Awards from the French Academy, three European Film Awards, in addition to a Best Director Academy Award for his 2002 Holocaust drama The Pianist.)
Charles Chaplin paternity lawsuit
Charles Chaplin became embroiled in a paternity suit in 1943/44. American actress Joan Barry (no relation to the British actress of the same name) accused Chaplin, with whom she had had an affair, of being the father of her daughter. According to blood tests, however, Chaplin could not have been the child's father. Following the trial, Chaplin would make only one more movie in the United States, Monsieur Verdoux (1947), before being barred from reentering the country because of his political views.
Carole Landis suicide / Rex Harrison, Lilli Palmer
On July 5, 1948, 29-year-old actress Carole Landis committed suicide by taking an overdose of Seconal. Landis was at the time married to Broadway producer W. Horace Schmidlapp, but was having an affair with actor Rex Harrison, then married to actress Lilli Palmer. The suicide was apparently the result of Harrison's refusal to divorce Palmer. The U.S. media made much of the fact that the innocent American girl had been corrupted by the worldly foreigner. Harrison's Hollywood career came to an abrupt halt, but was resurrected in the late '50s. He eventually won the Best Actor Academy Award for My Fair Lady (1964).
Ingrid Bergman / Roberto Rossellini affair
Ingrid Bergman's Hollywood career was ruined after it was discovered that Bergman, then married to dentist Petter Lindström, was pregnant with the child of another man: Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, married at the time to future movie costume designer Marcella De Marchis. If you think self-righteous jerks are giving Kristen Stewart a hard time on Twitter, bear in mind that it could have been much worse. On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Ingrid Bergman was called “an apostle of degradation” and “a horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence of evil.”
About seven years later, that “powerful influence of evil” would win her second Best Actress Academy Award (for Anastasia). Bergman would win a third Oscar, as Best Supporting Actress (for Murder on the Orient Express), in early 1975.
Johnny Stompanato homicide / Lana Turner
In 1958, Lana Turner's daughter, Cheryl Crane, stabbed Turner's lover, small-time gangster Johnny Stompanato, killing him. The ensuing trial resulted in loads of publicity – that helped Turner's next movie, the mother-daughter melodrama Imitation of Life (1959), become one of the highest-grossing films of the actress' career and reportedly (not adjusted for inflation), Universal Pictures' biggest box office hit up to that time. (However great Lee Remick was in the role of the battered wife in Otto Preminger's courtroom comedy-drama Anatomy of a Murder, it's truly unfortunate that Lana Turner quit the project.)
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor became known as a homewrecker after she “stole” married man Eddie Fisher from All-American girl Debbie Reynolds in the late '50s. Even so, during that period Taylor received four Academy Award nominations, winning an Oscar on the fourth round (for Butterfield 8, 1960).
About two years later, she became enmeshed in another scandal, this time while shooting Cleopatra in Rome. Fisher was unceremoniously dumped for leading man Richard Burton, at the time married to Sybil Burton. The rabid media attention helped to propel Elizabeth Taylor to the realm of “living film legend.” Additionally, Taylor won a second Best Actress Academy Award in early '67 (for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
More recently, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie became romantically involved while co-starring in the 2005 action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Jolie was single, but Pitt was then married to Jennifer Aniston – a sort of worldlier, non-singing Debbie Reynolds of the '90s and early 2000s. The scandal in no way harmed Pitt's and Jolie's careers. In fact, it likely made Mr. & Mrs. Smith a bigger worldwide hit – $478.2 million – than it would have been otherwise.
Arnold Schwarzenegger family values
Now, I'm not sure how things are going to pan out for former Family Values California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a married man who fathered a child with an employee. Not because of Schwarzenegger's hypocrisy, but because the scandal is by now old news while his upcoming film, The Expendables 2, is perceived as a Sylvester Stallone / Liam Hemsworth vehicle.
Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper affair
Now, what came to mind when I found out about the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders “cheating scandal” was the complex portrait of a younger woman having an affair with an older, married man in Patricia Neal's autobiography As I Am. In her raw, heartfelt narrative, Neal describes how she became involved with Gary Cooper when the two co-starred in King Vidor's The Fountainhead in 1949. The affair eventually came to an end because Cooper wouldn't divorce his wife, Veronica Balfe a.k.a. 'Rocky' Cooper. The two-time Oscar winner (Sergeant York, 1941, High Noon, 1952) died of cancer in 1961. Oscar winner Patricia Neal (Hud, 1963) died in 2010.
Kristen Stewart Rupert Sanders Robert Pattinson media drama. (Image: Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders.) Chaos reigned all over the Internet on Tuesday, July 24, '12. What's going on? Has the never-ending global economic crisis gotten even more dire? Has another mass murder taken place inside a packed movie theater? Is a meteor headed on a collision course with Earth?
If only some celestial body were to take humankind out of its misery. Actually, the chaos was the direct result of a gossip rag's claim that Twilight star Kristen Stewart has been cheating on widely reported boyfriend Robert Pattinson.
Who's the lucky guy, you ask? The answer is Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, who happens to be married to model and actress Liberty Ross – who also has a role in her husband's film, as the mother of Stewart's Snow White.
Kristen Stewart Rupert Sanders 'signs of cheating'
Us Magazine, a publication for those who like to gobble up their shit flavored with colorful celebrity imagery, broke the “story.” (No longer available online.) People magazine followed suit while E! Online posted the following headline: “Watch Kristen Stewart & Rupert Sanders on the Red Carpet: Were There Signs of Cheating?”
It's unclear what these “signs of cheating” would be. Holding hands? Off-key whistling? Ass-grabbing? But one thing is clear: if you give 'em putrid matter, they'll eat it up and beg for seconds.
First of all, Kristen Stewart's, Robert Pattinson's, Rupert Sanders', and Liberty Ross' private lives are their own. If someone were to write a Kristen Stewart biography, of course the actress' off-screen behavior would have to be incorporated into the story. However, that would have to be done from a “historical” perspective – i.e., in an analytical, contextual, non-sensationalistic manner. Whether or not you approve of it, thanks to the Twilight movies Kristen Stewart has become a part of both cinema and 21st-century cultural history.
But Us, People, E! Online, and their myriad imitators aren't after “history” of any kind. They and their readers want facile, vulgar titillation that'll hopefully lead to the rich and famous suffering public humiliations so that fecal-matter aficionados can feel better about their own lives. (I remember the snide stories I heard about the murder of actor Ramon Novarro, whose biography I wrote a few years ago.)
Confidential magazine: gossip rag precursor
Anyhow, the Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders “scandal” reminds me of the precursor of all the current gossip print and online publications: Confidential magazine. Back in the more circumspect '50s, the nasty gossip rag alleged that Liberace was gay (“Why Liberace's Theme Song Should Be 'Mad About the Boy'”), insinuated that former Paramount star Lizabeth Scott was a lesbian, and claimed that Miracle on 34th Street star Maureen O'Hara had been caught having sex inside a Hollywood movie theater.
Liberace, Scott, O'Hara, and Oscar-nominated actress Dorothy Dandridge (“What Dorothy Did in the Woods”), among others, sued. Confidential had to pay damages and following a much-publicized libel trial was forced to change its tone. Its readership plummeted and the magazine eventually folded.
In case the Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders “cheating” story turns out to be false, hopefully they'll sue. And even if it's true … Well, it's the business of those involved in the story and nobody else's.
Aug. 8 update
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and the 'cheating scandal': Breaking Dawn - Part 2 director Bill Condon speaks. (Image: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Breaking Dawn - Part 2.) The final installment in the five-movie Twilight Saga franchise, in Breaking Dawn - Part 2 Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) are now married with child (Mackenzie Foy). Once a minor hurdle – the Volturi clan – is removed from their path, Edward and Bella, it is implied, will find everlasting happiness. But will Summit Entertainment live just as blissfully once Breaking Dawn - Part 2 opens in mid-fall?
In reference to the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders “cheating scandal” that exploded in late July, Nancy Kirkpatrick, Summit's head of worldwide marketing, recently told Entertainment Weekly: “While it is studio policy not to comment on the personal lives of actors, Summit is moving full steam ahead.” As well they should, considering that the first four Twilight movies – Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 – have grossed circa $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office. And that amount doesn't include ancillary revenues.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart: 'actors playing parts'
However obliquely, Breaking Dawn - Part 2 director Bill Condon has recently had his say on the matter as well. Referring to the Twilight fans' idealized view of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's off-screen relationship, Condon is quoted as saying in EW's fall movie preview issue that “these are actors playing parts, and maybe it's not such a bad thing that people be reminded of that.”
“Both of these actors gave heart and soul to the Twilight movies,” Condon adds, “not only during shooting, but also by navigating so graciously the whole life-in-a-fishbowl aspect of the phenomenon. Above all they have always shown great respect for the fans who made these movies such a success. Now it's time that some of that respect be returned to them.”
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart relationship: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 fall-out?
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders photos were published in a U.S.-based gossip rag in late July. Since then, Stewart (or her people) publicly apologized – via People.com – to Robert Pattinson, who, after years of “are they or aren't they?” was finally (seemingly) confirmed as her off-screen boyfriend by way of the widely publicized apology. Sanders, the director of Stewart's summer box office hit Snow White and the Huntsman, also used People.com to apologize to his wife, model Liberty Ross, who plays Stewart's mother in the film.
Since then, while trying to digest the at times conflicting information about the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders “affair,” pundits, fans, and gossipmongers alike have wondered: How will the personal affect the professional? Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart kiss and make up before the Breaking Dawn - Part 2 promotion kicks into full gear? If not, how will Summit handle the situation? Will anyone care, either way, as the Twilight movies already have an ardently devoted fan base?
In fact, the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders scandal – and Robert Pattinson's indirect involvement in it – could well help Breaking Dawn - Part 2's box office prospects. After all, interest on the film (and its publicity campaign) will reach global heights unrivaled by the vast majority of movies in recent (and not-so-recent) memory.
Breaking Dawn - Part 2 opens Nov. 14-16 in dozens of countries, including the United States (on the 16th).
The Twilight movies' screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg adapted the second half of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn novel. Besides Mackenzie Foy, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the Breaking Dawn - Part 2 cast includes Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Dakota Fanning, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Cameron Bright, Billy Burke, Mia Maestro, Christian Camargo, MyAnna Buring, Maggie Grace, and Booboo Stewart.
“Hollywood Scandals” initially posted by André Soares.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Breaking Dawn - Part 2 picture: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment.