In Touch Weekly, apparently on a roll this week, reported in their new issue that Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are having marital problems. Joel has committed to The Voice in Australia. Supposedly Nicole is pissed because they’ll be apart.

The real reason?

Nicole and Joel haven’t shown up on a red carpet together in over 6 months. Perfect time to make a story. This must mean they’re breaking up.

Interestingly enough, instead of letting the story die out on its own, Joel addressed it publicly, releasing a rather wordy statement via Gossip Cop that’s worth a Celebrity Studies analysis.

“I don’t usually comment on gossip, but seeing as this is something that is defaming my character and the sanctity of my marriage and family, I feel like I have to make something clear.

I understand the nature of gossip media, and I accept that. However much I do understand people’s need to be entertained by creating stories for blogs and tabloids, I take my responsibilities as a father, and as a husband very seriously. My wife and my children are the most important thing in the world to me. I try very hard to be the father that Harlow and Sparrow need and deserve, and the husband I believe Nicole deserves. I care way more about these things than I do about any job I could ever do, song I could ever write, or success I could ever find in what I think is the silliest business in the world.

I love music and will always work the hardest I can to provide for my family, but not at any cost. My family’s well being and privacy will always come first. I would never usually go out of my way to comment on these things, and I by no means plan on starting, I just felt the need to say this because if in fact my children do read all the stories that have and will be written by a media that does not care about sacred things like family and marriage, I hope they also find this statement.”

Well, it certainly was emphatic and specific enough. It allows for almost no rebuttal. It pointedly addresses the notion that he’d allow his career (The Voice) to jeopardise his family; he wouldn’t.

So...was it effective?

Did he convince you? If so, at what cost?

Thing is, I believe him. His words were passionate, he was not confrontational, he was clear about his objectives, and if I were his wife, I would want to hear all these things too. You know how when you’re mad at your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband and you need them to say exactly the right thing in exactly the right order before you make up? Joel seems like he’d be good at that. In that sense, Joel did a good job.

But of course there are those who will always remain suspicious and sometimes, I don’t blame them. This statement, for them, could be read as overkill: now I fully believe they’re having problems because he’s trying so hard to say they’re not!

Sure. That too.

The most problematic consequence of Joel’s response however could be the precedent. He was so detailed about this denial that, well, anything short of this next time, and there will be a next time, could be compared to this time, and found to be lacking.

I mean, I’m not sure a simple flippant tweet wouldn’t have diffused the entire situation and accomplished the same result...

If that’s even necessary.


If you want to go hardcore conspiracy theorist, could this just be a way to draw attention to an issue no one was really aware of to begin with in service of supporting Nicole’s new tv show?

Some Hollywood assholes really would stoop to that level. I’m just not sure that’s Nicole and Joel.


Attached - Nicole and Joel leaving a Grammys party last month.