Public relations in defense of our private relations


First Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford took out that newspaper ad declaring: "We are heterosexual and monogamous and take our commitment to each other very seriously."

And now magician David Copperfield and supermodel Claudia Schiffer have had to defend their sexuality and their relationship to the public, too.

"David is and always has been 100 percent heterosexual -- very heterosexual. Trust me, I know," Claudia said recently.

(Did you see the layout on Copperfield's magic mansion in Architectural Digest? It looked like Siegfried and Roy's place without the tigers. Claudia, are you sure this relationship is not an illusion?)

In between, Lisa Presley had to fend off rumors that she seduced Michael Jackson to tap his millions for the Church of Scientology and he had to contend with theories that he married to take the focus off his friendships with little boys.

Meanwhile, the only evidence the gossip mags can produce that Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts -- who have never been seen on the same side of the Mississippi -- have anything more than pictures of her barefoot in a wedding dress is a check signed: "Julia Lovett."

Sylvester Stallone is tying up DNA labs everywhere sorting out his relationships to models and their children.

LaToya Jackson is firing manager Jack Gordon as her husband after five years. She announced that the marriage was never consummated but Gordon will continue to handle her contracts.

And Jerry Hall is the only one who thinks she's married to Mick Jagger.

This mounting evidence has convinced me that this is what really sets the rich and famous apart from the rest of us. They have to defend their marriages in the press, and I'm not sure the rest of us could.

It isn't their movies or their magazine covers. It isn't the paparazzi at the openings and the dresses cut down to there. It isn't that they can leave their kids with the nanny while they work out with personal trainers. It isn't that they all retreat to 500-acre spreads in Wyoming.

What makes the rich and famous different is this: They have to announce stuff like, "He's 100 percent heterosexual. And we love each other. Really."

Can you imagine if the rest of us had to explain our choice of a life partner to, like, the PTA? "He's 100 percent heterosexual. And we love each other. And he's really good with the kids."

Most of my women friends, when caught at the end of a tough day, are not very kind to husbands. Theirs or anyone else's. It is true that we make unpleasant comments about the marital burdens of our sisters. As in: "I wouldn't stay married to that guy for 10 minutes."

Just as often, we tell elaborate, cheerful anecdotes about our husbands so that we don't look as if we couldn't do any better. But most of us would be tongue-tied if we had to draft a press release or a newspaper ad or come up with a sound bite to defend our marriages to a curious public.

I'm not sure our relationships could bear unsympathetic scrutiny any better than Cindy's and Richard's did.

He was in the arms of a new model and she was lap-dancing with Jon Bon Jovi in a music video practically before the ink was dry on their ad in the London Times:

"We got married because we love each other and we decided to make a life together. . . . We remain very married."

But in the event that we are ever called upon to explain our relationships to anyone other than the kids after they hear us argue, my friends and I have developed a few generic press releases. We are not available for further comment.

"He's 100 percent heterosexual. Trust me. We really love each other. And he has really nice clothes. He just chooses not to wear them."

"He's 100 percent heterosexual. Trust me. We really love each other. And those long weekends he spends hunting while I watch the kids help us appreciate our time together."

"He's 100 percent heterosexual. Trust me. We really love each other. But he's not going to get a chance to prove it until he takes out the garbage."

"He's 100 percent heterosexual. Trust me. And we really love each other. He is just tired a lot."

"He's 100 percent heterosexual. Trust me. We really love each other. He doesn't like Howard Stern, he's just curious."

"I don't know if he's 100 percent heterosexual. And I don't know if we still love each other. Ask me when the kids are grown."

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