RECENTLY, WE’VE BEEN SENT PICTURES OF CELEBS IN SO-CALLED ‘TEMPESTUOUS’ RELATIONSHIPS. WE WON’T PUBLISH OR PROMOTE THEM AND THIS IS WHY.
For months, we’ve noticed that when dealing with allegations of violence between celebrity couples, magazines like ours don’t tend to actually use the word violence all that often. Instead, these relationships will be referred to as ‘tempestuous’, ‘passionate’, ‘toxic’ or ‘volatile’. And pictures aplenty will be published of celebrities sporting bruises.
And although we’ll admit that we don’t tend to attract very young readers (with ‘typical’ His & Hers readers being aged from 20 upwards) we’re still not OK with the idea of glamorising or normalising violence of any kind.
Last week, we saw pictures of a heavily bruised Jeremy McConnell and his ex partner Stephanie Davis (who met on Celebrity Big Brother) after an altercation in which the police had to intervene. Most press coverage we’ve seen of the pair describes their relationship as ‘tempestuous’. But with allegations of assault on both sides, shouldn’t we be calling this relationship what it is by now: violent?
In the same week, Johnny Depp’s former managers of 17 years filed court documents supporting Amber Heard’s claims that he physically abused her during their marriage. They alleged that the actor ‘got physical’ with her on several occasions, and then tried to cover it up.
Depp denies these claims and last year, when settling a domestic abuse case, released a joint statement with Amber Heard, saying: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm.”
We worry that this statement implies that the more passionate a relationship is, the more volatile or violent it will potentially become. And we also like to think that you should be able to promise whoever you’re in a relationship with much more than having no intent of physically harming them. You should be able to hand on heart guarantee it.
Over on EN Stars, a journalist wrote: “For those with a short memory, in 2009 (Chris) Brown was found guilty of assaulting Rihanna and sentenced to five years probation and a restraining order against the singer. And that should have been the end of it, right? But when it comes to these two, the story just seems to keep going. Here’s what’s happening between the tempestuous twosome.”
We’re really not sure about the use of the phrase “tempestuous twosome” in this context, but the story continues: “Despite the brutal beating his daughter suffered at the hands of Chris Brown nearly 7 years ago, Rihanna’s father Ronald Fenty is on board with the idea of a reconciliation between the two.” We’re not sure whether they also asked a representative for Rihanna for a statement on her own behalf.
Perhaps for magazines like our own, it’s hard to resist the drama of these kinds of stories, and as readers, it’s also hard to resist craning our necks to see these ‘car crash’ relationships play out. And if we have nothing worse to contend with in our own relationships than the occasional argument over the TV remote, it can be vaguely comforting to think that various celebrities really aren’t having a better time of it than we are.
However, despite all of this, we still won’t agree to promote any pictures we’re sent capturing a violent incident between celebrities. We won’t rebrand violence as passion. And we won’t run stories that we think are exploitative. We’ll still keep bringing you loads of celebrity, fashion & beauty news, though, & hope you’ll stick with us!