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The Danger in Reporting on Madonna's Divorce
Unintended Casualties

By now it's already well-known Madonna and Guy Ritchie are on their way to divorce, with the question a matter of when, not if. The two are leading separate lives! She wants more kids, he doesn't! She still think she's a sex pot, him not so much! The reasons are endless for their going separate ways. The only matter that really remains is what to do with her $600 million fortune, especially since the pair reportedly didn't sign a prenup. Not that Madonna is leaving it up to chance: She's said to have hired divorce attorney Fiona Shackleton, who helped Paul McCartney walk away with most of his fortune and made Heather Mills look like a crazy person (though, Mills helped).

And while those close to Ritchie can be heard saying he won't wage a public legal battle, maybe $500,000 a month in alimony would help things along?

But none of that is the most interesting part of all of this.

Rather, it's who's reporting the news. While we all expect the British and American tabloids to run wild with this story, it was this morning's Today show report — based on pure speculation and carrying a "no comment" from Madonna's rep — that has us curious.

Today, like any morning show, is very heavily vested in protecting celebrity relationships. They tread very lightly when the matter of "losing access" might come up, often agreeing to conduct celebrity interviews that won't address certain scandals in exchange for guaranteed ratings and viewer interest. (Just this week, rival Good Morning America was fingering for playing this game.)

Which makes their willingness to run with this story, without much hard evidence and based mostly on tabloid reports, particularly interesting. Even if producers are 100 percent sure Madonna is headed for divorce, that doesn't mean they'll lend a segment to it until Madonna's camp allows them to move forward, for fear of losing Madonna as a guest — or, ideally, a live concert performer — in the future. And it's not just the Today show, but any of NBC's brands (including Access Hollywood) that could be affected. At her level of celebrity, Madonna can pick and choose who gets to her.

So either Madonna's camp is allowing this story to move ahead, so long as it's slanted toward her, or Today is going out on a limb and hoping Liz Rosenberg will continue answering their phone calls. Or, maybe, producers saw a photo like this of Madonna not wearing her wedding ring and drew theirown conclusions.

Jun 27, 2008 · Link · 2 Responses
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  • Comments (2)
    No. 1 Emma says:

    No comment on whether the rumours are true or not, BUT: Madonna hasn't been wearing her wedding ring regularly since the Snatch premiere in early 2001. Go to Madonnalicious' (or anyone's, really) photo gallery and look for yourself. She's been photographed without it for years, even when she and Guy were apparently happy, so that in itself doesn't mean anything.

    Posted: Jun 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm
    No. 2 tj says:

    Madonna???s Brother To Write Tell All/ Guy Ritchie Cheating On Her

    Posted: Jun 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm
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