In a short battle via blog and Facebook, comedian Margaret Cho and fellow Dancing with the Stars contestant Bristol Palin have been arguing over how much of a role Bristol’s mother, Sarah Palin, had in Bristol’s decision to participate in DWTS.
Celebrity gossip is nothing new, and the strange part of Margaret’s initial blog post, entitled “Pistol Whipped,” was not the recitation of the as-yet unsubstantiated rumor about Sarah twisting Bristol’s arm. The strange part was the fact that the gossip was preceded by the words “I consider her a friend” and followed by a sweet sentiment about Bristol-“She’s warm and incredibly supportive, and I think that she looks beautiful out on the dance floor.” Seriously?
Bristol apparently wasn’t fooled by the veneer of camaraderie, either; she quickly fought back in a Facebook post that defended her mother . . . and referred to Margaret as “my friend” three times (four if you count the possibly sarcastic “girlfriend”).
Margaret and Bristol may have hung out a little, but it doesn’t sound like this is the healthiest relationship. After all, friends are supposed to be the people who defend you-not the ones you have to defend yourself against.
Spilling a celebrity’s secrets can be worth a lot of money or, as in this case, a wealth of free publicity. It’s not difficult to find examples of backbiting in Hollywood. However, it is also possible to find some qualities of genuine friendship:
SHE’S KIND AND SUPPORTIVE (OPRAH WINFREY AND GAYLE KING)
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King met more than thirty years ago, when they worked at the same television station in Baltimore, Maryland. In a now widely circulated clip from Thursday night’s special interview with Barbara Walters, “Oprah: The Next Chapter,” Oprah opened up about why she considers Gayle such a good friend: “She is . . . the mother I never had. She is . . . the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves.”
SHE’S GOT YOUR BACK (JAKE GYLLENHAAL AND ANNE HATHAWAY)
There’s been a lot of speculation recently about the status of Jake Gyllenhaal’s relationship with newly 21-year-old country music star Taylor Swift. While Jake was on the road with co-star Anne Hathaway to promote their new movie, Love & Other Drugs, interviewers at a press conference pounced on the opportunity to find out more-not about the movie but about Jake’s rumored romance with the then-20-year-old singer. Anne quickly deflected questions by pretending to be offended and saying, “You keep the conversation to me and only me, otherwise I’m going to get nasty!” This isn’t the first time she and Jake have played romantic leads; they were cast as husband and wife in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. Answering a question from Access Hollywood about their easy chemistry both on and off the screen, Anne said, “I never think, Oh, we have good chemistry. I just think, I just love spending time with Jake.” Laughing, Jake added, “I’m going to think about it now, after this press day.”
SHE’S LOYAL (SALMA HAYEK AND PENÉLOPE CRUZ)
According to a Woman’s Day article on famous best friends, Salma Hayek, who is Mexican, met Penélope Cruz at an airport. Penélope was in the process of moving to the United States from her native Spain in preparation for a role in her first Hollywood movie. Salma became Penélope’s unofficial tour guide and interpreter, and the two have been close ever since. Penélope has been quoted as saying, “I love Salma Hayek; we`ve been friends for a really long time. I admire how she has come such a long way and always remained grounded and who she is. She never compromises to follow her vision and she is loyal.”
SHE CHEERS YOU UP WHEN YOU’RE DOWN (JENNIFER ANISTON AND COURTENEY COX)
From 1994 to 2004, they starred as best friends Rachel and Monica on Friends, and Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox have maintained their affectionate relationship since the show went off the air. According to Access Hollywood, Jennifer gave Courteney a necklace when her daughter (and Jennifer’s goddaughter) was born, and the two have consistently supported each other. Courteney, who stood by her friend during Jennifer’s very public divorce from Brad Pitt, recently separated from her husband of eleven years, David Arquette. Since then, Jennifer has been a steady source of support. In a 2005 interview, Courteney referred to Jennifer as “incredibly loyal.” She said, “We went through our relationships and break-ups together, through my wedding to David and my father dying. I love, love, love her.”
Oh, and one other thing these pairs have in common? They’re not spilling each other’s secrets-real or otherwise.
Brian Alexander, “Bristol Palin Denies Mother Forced Her on DWTS,” Canada.com.
Margaret Cho, “Pistol Whipped,” MargaretCho.com.
Bristol Palin, “Cha-Cha-Cha to Cho-Cho-Cho–Here’s a Hint: Three Dog Night,” Facebook.com.
Mary Elizabeth Williams, “Handler, Palin, Griffin: Mean girls, celeb edition,” Salon.
ABC News Video, “Oprah addresses lesbian rumors,” ABC News.
Ariana Gordon, “14 Famous Best Friends,” WomansDay.com.
Access Hollywood interview, “Courteney Cox Cherishes Gift From Jennifer Aniston,” accesshollywood.com.
“Courteney Cox Leaning on Friend Jennifer Aniston after David Arquette Split,” celebs.gather.com.
Splash/Snapper Media Celebrity Newswire, “Anne Hathaway saves Jake Gyllenhaal from questions about Taylor Swift,” metrolyrics.com.
Access Hollywood interview, “Jake Gyllenhaal & Anne Hathaway Together Again in ‘Love & Other Drugs,'” accesshollywood.com.