Archive for August, 2010

May Celebrity Edge: Blindsided

Posted in Celebrity Edge, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 31, 2010 by Corinna Allen Cook

944 Magazine

Written by: Corinna Allen

After taking home the Oscar for her movie, The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock learned that her husband of five years had been cheating on her. So much has been made of the fact that she, like so many other leading ladies, has fallen victim to the “Oscar Curse” of losing a relationship after winning the Academy Award for Best Actress.

But I believe what happened to Sandra, and the women before her, is still of valid concern to the rest of us, who wonder: “How much is too much to sacrifice for love?”

Sandra Bullock waited to get married. She met Jesse James in her 30s, but it wasn’t until 40 that she tied the knot, because, as she told Barbara Walters, she believed “if you got married, that was the end of who you were,” and until she met Jesse, she’d “never met anyone who was bigger than me.”

After getting married, she not only helped raise his baby daughter, but entered what would become a four-year adoption process to grow a family with the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. Instead, she’s now filed for a divorce and filed to become the single parent of her adopted child, Louis Bardo Bullock – news which became public late last month.

When award season rolled around this year, Jesse played the part of dutiful husband on the red carpet.

But, apparently, not without complaint.

In one of her acceptance speeches, she thanked him for “dressing up in a monkey suit” to sit with people he didn’t know. Does that sound like something he might have said to her?

I think she might have been quoting him again later, when she told Walters, “he’s not out in bars. He words hard.” Who was she trying to convince?

It’s a perilous thing to sacrifice so much for a man, and I think she’d begun to realize her mistake.

She’s far from alone.

I once came close to quitting my job and moving out of state to be a suburban stepmother. They only thing that stopped me was his refusal to let me have kids of my own.

Even when kids aren’t a factor, women are still willing to sacrifice for men who don’t deserve it.

A beautiful, thirtysomthing friend of mine owns a chain of successful businesses. But the man she dated was unhappy with his job, so she offered to give him her tax refund, plus free room and board, to get him started in a business of his own. He promptly broke up with her.

Another beautful friend, in her early 40s, was driving hours roundtrip to see her man, and was on the verge of quitting her job and giving up her apartment to be closer to him. She was about to co-sign for the loan on his car when he broke up with her.

Oh, if only Jesse would have done Sandra the favor of breaking up with her early on, instead of hanging on to humiliate her the way he did! But he didn’t, and it leaves the rest of us to wonder, how much is too much to give?

And is there any way to see it coming before we do? Or do we have to be blindsided to see the truth?

Corinna Allen is the entertainment reporter on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta, airing daily from 5 to 7 a.m.

April Celebrity Edge: Gimme A Beat

Posted in Celebrity Edge, Uncategorized on August 31, 2010 by Corinna Allen Cook

944 Magazine

By now, we all know what a cougar is. (Insert your favorite female-dominant May/September fantasy relationship here___). We all know what she is, but has anyone taken the time to ask why she is? The question came to me recently while looking at photos of superstar singer Janet Jackson strutting her cougar stuff at the recent London Fashion Week with a smokin’ hot Latin twentysomething on her arm.

To find her motivation, one need only listen to her hit song “Nasty” from her classic 1986 album, Control.

Think about it.

Last summer, her long-time, big-shot, music-exec boyfriend skipped her brother’s funeral. Friends reportedly explained Jermaine Dupri doesn’t “do funerals.”

You know what my response to that would have been? “Guess that means I don’t ‘do’ you.”

Well, apparently Janet felt the same way, as the pair split up before the holidays last year. And then — just in time for Valentine’s Day — she found comfort in a warm and cuddly cub that she could control.

(Cue the music)

“I’m not a prude, I just want some respect
So, close the door if you want me to respond
Cause privacy is my middle name
My last name is control … ”
Can you blame her? She was understandably vulnerable, and wanted someone she could count on to comfort her.
I’ve done the same thing.

Three years ago, I sold all my furniture and moved cross-country to take a job in Atlanta — a city I’d never visited before. So when I met a smart, attractive man 10 years my junior, (OK, maybe closer to 11), I jumped. What appealed to me was his sweet naïveté. He actually believed our relationship would work and the fact that he was a bartending student seemed a small price to pay. Predictably, the relationship didn’t last.

He had a house full of roommates who had a fondness for late-night beer pong tournaments. And fortunately, I knew better than to bring my cuddly cub home with me. One need look no further than the alimony being paid by the likes of Britney Spears and LeAnn Rimes. Sure, their “cubs” may not have been significantly younger, but their bank accounts certainly were. Still, the cougar motivation remains. And it’s no different for a man.

I spent a good part of my 20s wondering why men would stop calling me, just when our relationship seemed to be getting good. Then I turned 30 and realized those men never had any intention of calling me for more than a month or so. As soon as things started to get serious, they’d move on. It’s like the succulence of that first bite of a ripe peach. That’s what new love feels like. But taking that love into the next level — where responsibility and commitment take residence — can be like sucking the pit: sweet at times, but more work than anything else.

Like going to a funeral, for example.

So, with her life upside down, Janet embraced her cougar side and found herself a cub that’s made her roar.
“Will this one do? Uh huh, I know …”

Corinna Allen is the entertainment reporter for Better Mornings Atlanta, airing daily from 5 – 7 a.m. on CBS Atlanta

March Celebrity Edge: Diana: A Defense of Divorce

Posted in Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Snapshots, Uncategorized with tags on August 11, 2010 by Corinna Allen Cook

***Editor’s note: some of you have asked for me to post my earlier columns from 944 Magazine. Here you go! Enjoy. c

Divorce was the best thing to ever happen to Princess Diana.It wasn’t until recently, walking through the new Atlanta Civic Center exhibit, Diana: A Celebration, that I realized the truth: It was the divorce, not the marriage, that truly defined who Diana was to become.

As a little girl, I was one of more than a billion people who watched as Lady Diana Spencer walked down the aisle. Seeing her fairy tale wedding, it was easy to accept the Disney-induced delusion of happily ever after. I believed that marrying a prince was the best thing that could ever happen to a girl.

Containing 150 personal items from her life, both before and after the palace, the moving exhibit also includes video clips from the princess’ life, including a standout shot of her crying in a red coat, after kissing Prince Charles goodbye. Years later, she revealed those tears weren’t a result of him leaving, but were because she felt so lonely even when he was home.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you I’ve never been married, so I don’t know what it feels like to be divorced. But, I have endured countless break-ups and one thing I definitely know for sure: Whether you want him back or not, the best thing you can do is pull yourself together and concentrate on being your best self — that person you were when he fell in love with you in the first place.
Remember when Nicole Kidman, in the wake of her divorce from Tom Cruise, remarked to an interviewer that it was nice to wear heels again? It’s a trite example, but I think it represents a larger exploration of her independence, and a revival of parts of her personality that were dormant during her marriage.

I’d assert that what all three women have in common is that they didn’t take separation and divorce lying down. Instead they showed courage, and used it to embrace their unexpected solitude. I once heard divorce compared to a series of sequential car accidents slamming into you over and over again.

In my case, after breaking up with the man I expected to marry, I didn’t tell my mother for a week. I was too embarrassed to say it out loud. I remember feeling like people on the street could somehow see that I’d been demoted, reduced to being just half a couple.
I think we all go through something similar. But then, like Nicole, we pull our high heels out of the closet and start living again. In Diana’s case, she dropped her affiliation with 95 percent of her charities and chose instead to focus on the handful of organizations most meaningful to her.
Much is made in the exhibit — on display through June 13 — of how her fashion sense matured in the wake of severing her obligation to palace protocol. But I find it more remarkable that she raised 7 million dollars for charity by selling a collection of her dresses at a New York auction.

Could she have done these things as a married woman? Of course. But, in defense of Diana’s divorce, it wasn’t until afterward that we finally saw the woman she was truly meant to become. 

Corinna Allen is the entertainment reporter for Better Mornings Atlanta, airing daily from 5 – 7 a.m. on CBS 46.

“Celebrity Edge” for 944 Magazine

Posted in Celebrity Edge, Uncategorized with tags on August 5, 2010 by Corinna Allen Cook

Is Brad Pitt secretly seeing his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston?

Rumors started swirling last summer when he was rumored to have visited the New York set of her movie, The Switch, while his current live-in girlfriend, Angelina Jolie filmed her movie, Salt, just miles away.

Now, more than a year later, the tabloids insist that the former couple have maintained contact, and that Aniston would like Pitt to father her child.

There is no concrete evidence to support any of these rumors, but it’s easy to understand why they persist. Jolie is the exotic “other woman” who stole a married man from Aniston, the all-American “girl next door.” And no amount of good-will ambassadorship or third-world adoptions can change that perception. 

I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Just months after the divorce, Pitt’s parents were rumored to have celebrated Thanksgiving with their former daughter-in-law in California, while their son explored the wilds of India with his new, illicit love. Since then, many of us have secretly hoped that one day he would forgo the seductive scent of the unknown in favor of the domestic security of home.

Don’t count on it.

Richard Burton was married to his hometown sweetheart when he fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra. The two carried on an infamously adulterous affair before ultimately marrying, then divorcing not once, but twice. He is said to have written her a love letter on the day he died, despite being married to someone else.

To be fair, Burton never did go back to his first wife, but I’m betting that if Pitt ever left Jolie for “the one who got away,” he’d be back, time and again.

I think we all have that “one that got away.” The one that makes us ask, “what if?”

I know I do.

In October of 2002, the country was gripped in fear as the infamous D.C. sniper terrorized innocent people as they pumped gas in the nation’s capital. We were across the country in Portland, Ore., but it was our former police chief, Charles Moose, who oversaw the investigation. So, as a city, we watched and cringed as he was humiliated by the mad man’s whim.

My could-have-been husband was tall, dark and handsome, but not the least bit dangerous. He was a banker who lived in the same city where he’d graduated from high school and who took me to church with his mother. But I was a young reporter who saw horrible things on a daily basis, and — oh! — the security of his arms felt good.

He woke me up one morning to tell me he’d had a sniper-fueled nightmare where he had to protect me from harm. I was sold. But ultimately, I didn’t stay.

Years later, when I prepared to move across the country to Atlanta, he brought his new wife to my going-away party. “You always said you’d leave,” he said with a smile. I choked up, but didn’t regret my decision to reject the security of domestic bliss. I knew I had more adventure in store.

So when I hear rumors about Brad Pitt considering a reunion with his “girl next door,” I understand. She’s the one that got away. But while he may visit, I don’t expect him to stay.