Thursday, 2 September 2010

Greased, frightening

If there's one sure-fire way of guaranteeing yourself some front-page coverage, it's to get yourself involved in a 'gay sex scandal'. The lies, the deceit, the unflattering photos of you in an outfit you're twenty years too old for - it's the stuff that tabloid dreams are made of.

Here in the UK, the papers are falling over themselves to dig into William Hague's private life, as they delight in the fact that he appointed a 25-year old pretty boy as his 'special advisor' and that they often shared a room on the election trail.

There's something about the inherent hypocrisy of Conservative politicians preaching 'traditional values' Monday to Friday and spending their weekends in a leather sling that we just can't get enough of. In fact, the only thing we enjoy more than the tremulous quiver of a stiff upper-lip is the idea that some of our favourite alpha-male movie stars might be good with colours.

So let's hear it for John Travolta, who's managed to keep professional gossips in business for three decades now, with his less-than convincing portrayal of an avowedly heterosexual man. He's currently the subject of a 'shocking' expose that threatens to lift the toupee on his deceitful double life.

According to the National Enquirer, an author called Robert Randolph is lining up a new book for release, which promises to reveal the "underground secret world of celebrity gay spa sex" in Hollywood, the main target of which is the Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction actor. Randolph maintains that he's come across (not literally, that would be tacky) the Hollywood star in his favourite bath-house on a number of occasions.

Ignoring for a second the tautology of an 'underground secret', it's hard to believe that Robert could ever score a book deal, when his revelations read like a thirteen year-old's bathroom wall grafitti - "I met John in 1998, after he had married Kelly. I believe the marriage is a total fraud because John is totally into guys and has been having sex with them behind Kelly's back for years." Time to start brushing up on that Pulitzer acceptance speech. Totally.

Equally depressing is the fact that the Enquirer considers news of John's man-on-man infidelity worthy of a 'scandal' headline. Even Randolph himself admits that John's "secret gay life is one of Hollywood's worst kept secrets". Surely the purpose of a shocking story is to surprise readers with things they don't already know?

It also doesn't help matters that Randolph attempts to empathise with Travolta's put-upon and pregnant wife Kelly Preston, saying "John should come out of the closet already and stop living a lie. His wife Kelly deserves so much better." He's clearly never heard of an arranged marriage, a beard or a pre-nup.

If John's sexuality is such an open secret, it's hard to believe that Kelly would be the last to know. She might not be the one that he wants, but I'm sure the benefits of their union work both ways.

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