They say even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so when tabloids trumpet that a big celebrity couple is splitting up there's always a chance it could be true.
When In Touch Weekly published a story last week that A-listers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were separating, news traveled through cyberspace with the speed of a celebrity sex tape -- despite an early retraction from Jada's flack the report was rubbish.
The couple later issued a joint statement to put the rumor to rest: "Although we are reluctant to respond to these types of press reports, the rumors circulating about our relationship are completely false," it read. "We are still together, and our marriage is intact."
But like the boy who cried wolf, too many celebrities in recent years have denied they were planning to divorce, only to predictably separate a few weeks later. It appears famous folk don't like to be scooped on their own story, especially by a tabloid.
In an effort to provide persuasive optics, the "Ali" and "HawthoRNe" stars mugged it up for the cameras in Malibu the day after divorce rumors ran rampant, eating breakfast together and shopping like a couple of love birds. People quoted a witness who warbled, "They were laughing and being cutesy - they seemed to be getting along just fine."
Given that the parents of "Whip My Hair" girl wonder Willow Smith are actors, they could easily play the role of happy couple out in public even if their movie at home is more "War of the Roses" than "Love Story."
Though we hope they are happy as clam sauce, if the Smiths do end up announcing their separation in September, it will barely register on the Richter scale of shocking news. Many of their celebrity colleagues have denied rumors of divorce only to make an anti-climactic official announcement shortly after.
It took Madonna only five days to turn her spokesperson Liz Rosenberg into a liar in 2008 after her paid mouthpiece told People, "There are no plans for Madonna and Guy to divorce."
When Heather Mills was still married to "I've Had Enough" singer and former Beatle, Paul McCartney, she did the denial dance when divorce rumors erupted in 2006. "It's hilarious. Of course we are together. Paul and I are still very much together. Paul and I are together 100 percent," she said. One week later, the couple issued this joint announcement: "Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways."
And remember those cute newlyweds Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson? They never made it to the front porch playing checkers with the grandkids either. In 2005, the couple's spokesperson issued the statement, "Nick and Jessica have not separated. Rumors to the contrary are simply not true." Three months later the couple told a different story: "After three years of marriage, and careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways."
What do you think? Do divorce rumors shatter an already rocky marriage or are celebs just stealthy about revealing the true status of their marriage? Post below
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- Jada Pinkett Smith