This Time It's for Real

This Time It's for Real

This Time It's for Real

A summary of what's been in the tabloids.
Jan. 8 1998 3:30 AM

This Time It's for Real

This Time It's for Real

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Every time something really bad happens, Americans seem to lose their innocence all over again. So too are the tabloids, ever hopeful about the promise of celebrity love, constantly made cynical by its failure. But who wouldn't be moved by the stirring vows famous people incessantly exchange? Take this account in the Globe of the wedding of Frasier star Kelsey Grammer--his third. "Wildman Kelsey Grammer made a touching vow of eternal love to his [ Playboy pinup] bride Camille Donatacci at a tender wedding filled with romance and roses--that cost a whopping $450,000."

Emily Yoffe Emily Yoffe
Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report.
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Talk-show host Larry King had two beautiful weddings to infomercial host Shawn Southwick--one in his hospital bed, while awaiting heart surgery, and one post-angioplasty in Beverly Hills. According to the National Enquirer, so sure is King that he has found "the love of his life" with his seventh wife that he ignored the advice of his daughter and his financial advisers to get a prenuptial agreement. This week's Star takes us inside former Golden Girl Rue McLanahan's "Fairytale Wedding to Hubby #6." She says, "We both feel that we've met the soulmates that we've been searching for." Then there was Kenny Rogers' moving promise to his fifth bride that a friend of the singer's reported to the Enquirer: "I'm going to make this work no matter what!" Of Rogers' waltzing with his 28-years-younger new wife one guest told the publication, "It looked like a Father-Daughter Day Dance at a high school." And former Charlie's Angel Jaclyn Smith shed tears of joy at her fourth wedding, according to the Enquirer, promising all her guests, "This one is forever."

Though the tabs are fools for love, occasionally even they find a wedding not touching but tawdry. That is how the marriage between Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, daughter of Woody's former lover Mia Farrow, was portrayed this week. While Allen calls the wedding, which makes him Farrow's son-in-law, a "wonderful thing," Farrow family spokesman Dr. Stephen Herman, a child psychiatrist, is quoted in the Globe as denouncing it: "rude, nasty and most of all, it's a reflection of his own narcissism."

Sometimes, the tabs report, the wedding day leads right to the divorce lawyer's payday. According to an account in the Star, country singer Tracy Lawrence's marriage to a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader "began to deteriorate soon after her fairy-tale wedding." For his wife, Stacie, it ended when he beat her up following a concert--Las Vegas police charged him with battery. It legally began to unravel when he had her served with divorce papers while she was returning home from a CAT scan to assess her injuries. In the case of actress Robin Givens, Mike Tyson's ex, her wedding day actually was the only day of her marriage to Yugoslavian tennis player Svetozar Marinkovic, according to last week's Globe. At a party after the ceremony she reportedly announced, "Svetozar is the man of my dreams and I plan to spend the rest of my life with him." Since Givens did not pass away during the night, her prediction was not to be. The Globe says that in her divorce papers, she revealed the couple separated the day they married.

This unwritten rule also emerges from the tabs: The more elaborate the wedding, the greater the trouble ahead. Take the saga of actress Geena Davis and her third husband, director Renny Harlin. According to the Globe, their wedding was a $1 million extravaganza. As a wedding present, Davis had the name "Renny" and a picture of Cupid tattooed on her leg. However, this week's Enquirer reveals there's only a patch of very white skin where Cupid and "Renny" used to be. As a friend of the couple's told the Globe, "Renny was Hollywood's biggest playboy while he was married to Geena." That assessment was borne out when, the Globe reveals, it turns out that Davis' personal assistant, Tiffany Bowne, returned to her family in Arizona not for some R&R but to have Harlin's child. This only proves another unwritten rule: Never, ever hire a personal assistant named Tiffany.

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Kelsey Grammer and his wife are still together after their lavish wedding (the pastry chef was flown in from Denmark, says the Star), but all the tabloids have taken to chronicling their bumpy road to bliss. While exchanging vows, Grammer was so overcome that he burst into tears. "Excuse me, I'm so happy!" he said, according to the Globe. However, the next morning, the Star alleges, he was calling friends, asking, "What have I done?" after both he and his wife took turns storming out of their room at the Bel-Air Hotel. They made up in time to leave for their Caribbean honeymoon, the Star says. But there was another jolt, reports the Enquirer, when he opened her wedding gift to him: a Stairmaster. "You're fat and I hate fat men," she told him. Recently, says the Enquirer, Grammer has been lobbying Frasier's producers to give his wife a part on the show because she's so bored while he's at work. Let's hope she doesn't decide to get a tattoo.

Then there are the marriages that are giving readers whiplash--most prominently those of singer Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe, his dermatologist's former receptionist; and talk-show host Kathie Lee Gifford and her sportscaster husband, Frank. This week the Enquirer made news with the revelation that Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' daughter and Jackson's former wife, confided to her uncle, a minister, that she had found evidence during her marriage--which was never consummated, according to the story--that Jackson was sexually interested in boys. The uncle, the Rev. Rick Stanley, went public because of a recent report in the tabloids that Jackson and Presley have traveled the world together--with her young children by another marriage--even as Rowe is pregnant with the singer's second child. According to the Enquirer, Rowe said to a friend, "I told Michael that I would share him with Lisa Marie." She'll have to if the Star is accurate when it reports that Jackson has talked about Rowe serving as a surrogate mother for a child artificially conceived between Jackson and Presley. "He's convinced they could create the next Elvis," says the Star.

On the Gifford front, the Enquirer, in what it calls "A Tender Love Story," has Kathie Lee advising "skirtchasing" Kevin Costner to reconcile with his ex-wife. The counseling sessions gave her new hope that "she can reignite the flames of passion with her own hubby." But according to the Globe, which helped douse the Gifford marriage when it videotaped the sportscaster's tryst with an unnaturally well-endowed former flight attendant, the flame is out. "Kathie Lee to Divorce Frank!" predicted a recent cover. The Star, meanwhile, is hedging its bets. It reported last week that Kathie Lee is planning to get breast implants "to save her self-esteem--and maybe her marriage." But the publication also says that she is recording a blues album, all the better to "[rub] her martyrdom in the face of her errant husband."

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M any celebrity marriages could be called Ponce de León unions. Take the wedding of Anthony Quinn, 82, to his former secretary, Kathy Benvin, 35, the mother of his two young children. A guest told the Star that after the ceremony, Quinn launched into his Zorba the Greek dance. "You could see him growing younger before your very eyes." When William Shatner, 66, married Nerine Kidd, 37, he told a friend, according to the Globe: "She is my fountain of youth. ... Her love energizes me." It's fortunate she is not his sole source of energy--the Star reports she had canceled their wedding plans three times previously. But having to constantly administer youth serum can send a spouse fleeing into the arms of someone who actually is young. Take the case of actor Rod Steiger, 72. He discovered that his wife, 38, was discussing more than drywall with their married contractor, 40, when the pair was photographed by the Globe. The publication seems to have a sort of social consciousness about not letting celebrities suffer the delusion that they are happily married.

Then again, the tabloids have to give credit when love proves the cynics wrong. That's what the Globe had to do last week for actress Bo Derek and her director husband, John. When they married 20 years ago, the Globe reports, people said it wouldn't last. But they showed what true love is when Bo took over John's medical care and for seven weeks forced him to drink gallons of water to flush out stubborn kidney stones. Concludes the Globe: "She's more than a perfect 10!"