Women’s Wear Daily
04.19.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: What the Elle?... Another Warning... Name Change...

With news of Owen Wilson's attempted suicide blaring across gossip columns and Web sites since Monday, one outlet that won't be running a story of his troubles is Elle.

fashion-memopad/news
WHAT THE ELLE?: With news of Owen Wilson's attempted suicide blaring across gossip columns and Web sites since Monday, one outlet that won't be running a story of his troubles is Elle. Jezebel.com reported Monday the magazine had recently wrapped an interview with Wilson. But Roberta Myers, Elle's editor in chief, confirmed to WWD exclusively the Q&A slated for its December Hollywood issue was killed.

"Obviously the circumstances have changed significantly," said Myers. "When we were to be on the newsstand with the story, it would have been quite dated. Obviously, he's not going to update it for us. Out of respect for his privacy and anything he is going through, we're not going to run the piece." A spokeswoman for Wilson had no comment.

The Wilson article was assigned last month, and as of Tuesday, Elle had a transcript of an interview with the actor in Los Angeles but not a complete story. Myers declined to name the writer assigned to the piece, but said it was not contributor Holly Millea, who penned the September cover story on Lindsay Lohan that broke after Lohan was arrested for drunk driving. Millea added a nutgraph about the DUI charges and Lohan's return to rehabilitation facility Promises Malibu, keeping the story somewhat relevant even though the issue hit newsstands weeks later.

Elle was bullied in the press for choosing to run the story while Lohan was in lockup, but Myers stood her ground. But she says the Lohan piece and the Wilson one are two separate entities. "Their circumstances are completely different," the editor said. "[Millea] had spent time with Lindsay before. She'd written the [Elle] cover story about her two years ago."

Bloggers have called the Elle situation "The Elle Curse," given the personal emergencies surrounding two of its celebrity subjects, similar to the In Style Weddings curse, where cover subjects like "Melrose Place" actress Courtney Thorne-Smith and Drew Barrymore have gotten divorced before the issues hit newsstands. "There's no such thing," retorted Myers. "We've had 15 consecutive quarters of newsstand growth. That sounds more like a blessing." Nevertheless, Myers acknowledged celebrities' aversion to danger is hardly predictable. "Kelly Clarkson," who appeared on Elle's July cover. "Did we know that she was going to get into a fight with Clive Davis?" — Stephanie D. Smith
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