UNTIL YOU'VE lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is," said the great Gone with the Wind writer Margaret Mitchell.
I wonder how "free" John Edwards is feeling these days?
If Edwards thought by breaking his story of infidelity late Friday, as the Olympic Games began, that he'd soften the blow, he was greatly mistaken. The scandal grows, and the editors and reporters of the National Enquirer - who are now treated like Woodward and Bernstein by an embarrassed mainstream media - are smugly confident that there is oh-so-much more to reveal.
One wonders - who was, or is, the tabloid's incredibly accurate source?
Who could have possibly tipped off the Enquirer to Edwards' recent late-night Beverly Hilton Hotel rendezvous with his "mistress" (as some cable outlets love to refer to Rielle Hunter) - and his two previous visits to her there?
Why is the Enquirer so dead sure the "love child" is the issue of the former presidential candidate? Who is giving out all the financial info?
It's either somebody who hates John Edwards with a passion, or somebody who loves Edwards with a passion and wishes to hasten him out of his marriage to Elizabeth Edwards. Who could that be?
John Edwards is more than a cheating husband. He had a responsibility not only to his wife and three children but also to the nation of which he was trying to become chief executive! This oily guy is a big sap who is in deeper than he realizes.
Material Girl at 50
On Saturday, Madonna turns 50. She is still young - 50 is the new 25! - but perhaps because she has been a mega-star since she was 25, it seems as if she is 80. Remember the famous H. Rider Haggard book She? That's how we think of Madonna - thousands of years old, renewing herself by walking through the magic fire.
Not since Marlene Dietrich became the "World's Most Glamorous Grandmother" have I seen such fret and fuss about a star's age. Of course, with every round-numbered birthday that Madonna has passed - 30, 40 - the press has asked, "Is Madonna The Material Girl Now Immaterial? Is She Still Relevant?" The answer is - yeah, she's still relevant. When you don't ask, she'll be gone. There has always been an unseemly media haste to put an end to maturing female careers, especially when that career is based, at least in part, on good looks or sex appeal.
Madonna is too thin, too worked out and her hair is way too long. But these are the choices she makes. It doesn't photograph well. In person - and I have seen her in person without makeup recently - she looks softer, younger and prettier. Not so unappealingly muscular.
People ask me, as Madonna's birthday approaches, if I have advice for her? Puh-LEEZE. I wish she had some advice for me. I'd like $600 million.
As a friend, I'd only suggest she relax. As a friend, she'd probably reply, "I will when you will, Liz!" (Several years ago, my newspaper, The New York Post obliged me to ask Madonna if she was ever going to retire? She laughed and said, "Are you?" End of subject.)
Madonna, you keep on keeping on as long as you want. Happy birthday, honey!
Tribune Media Services