Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP website crashed yesterday once she'd posted the news that her marriage to Chris Martin was over.
Not sure what that says about us as a society or about the level of Schadenfreude in the atmosphere, but cruel response to Paltrow's announcement has been swift.
There seems to be a particularly allergic reaction to some of the wording of her announcement, particularly that the duo will, "consciously uncouple." The phrase may be poseur material at first glance, but it does suggest sober conversation versus the usual crockery-throwing and hysterical shouting. One can hope.
Here's the offending sentence:
“We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”
To the casual observer, Paltrow and Martin do appear to have worked hard to keep their relationship private. They almost never appear together on any red carpets and likewise are rarely photographed together. Paltrow has said, after high-profile relationships with Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck that she learned the hard way to keep her romantic life under the radar.
Paltrow has always been the more publicly visible partner in this marriage. Maybe that's why the lion's share of the shade is being thrown her way in the separation news. The British tabloids are in a frenzy of gossip mongering about rumoured affairs for the actress, while the New York scandal sheets suggest that the marriage had been over for some time. The inimitable TMZ reports that a year ago, Chris Martin tellingly named She's So Cold as his favourite Rolling Stones song. Guess we're meant to interpret that.
In a social climate where sex tapes, reality housewife shows and the lowest common denominator rule, Paltrow's lifestyle (and lifestyle advice) were viewed by many as snooty and unrealistic.
But just as many others saw her as an antidote to a lot of crass and unseemly celebrity behaviour. In an interview, Paltrow is surprisingly unguarded and straightforward and funny as hell; her great crime appears to be that aristocratic mien and a disinterest in dumbing down her image in any way. Hard cheese.
Of course, it couldn't hurt with the haters that so much appeared to come so easily to Paltrow. She grew up in a successful, intact family; she decided to try acting and became a huge success, winning an Oscar early on; she is beautiful, which opened doors to cosmetics and designer endorsements; she didn't need the money anyway; her children are stunning; she has a kick-ass singing voice, on top of everything else.
You can see where jealousy would be an issue.
Still, it's tough not to admire a woman who once said oral sex cut more ice in any marital disagreement than a screaming match with the hubby. Such a make-love-not-war statement suggests that the break-up of this marriage may well be as peaceful and amicable as Paltrow's website states. Again, one can hope.