The effect that celebrities have on people is quite fascinating. The same enjoyment of watching them for entertainment creates an inherent drive to know the details of their personal loves. And as we've witnessed multiple times in the past, the life of a celebrity is especially attractive to people when they're going through difficult situations.
Two good examples for that kind of personal interest have been #JeniferGarner and Ben Affleck. The actors' divorce has been quite a sad matter that's been widely covered by the media. Recently, the coverage continued in a People article. But this time, Jennifer Garner was not having it.
The 'People' Article Wasn't Given The Green Light By Garner
People published the article "Jennifer Garner: Life After Heart Break" for its upcoming June 12 issue. The piece focused on a source who supposedly provided an in-depth breakdown of the actress' situation, and several things were discussed. For starters, the source stated that divorcing Affleck was her most difficult decision yet, but she was now ready to move on:
“[She's] doing okay. This has really been the most difficult decision for her. But it’s time to focus on the future.”
More supposed personal details followed, such as Affleck having lived in their guest house since 2015. The source then stated Garner would eventually start dating again, but it would be a while until that happened, since #BenAffleck had been such an important part in her life:
“She will eventually, but it will be a while before she does. She’s certainly not jumping up and down and screaming, ‘I’m single!’ and planning dates. She still says Ben was the love of her life.”
Trusting this type of information is not always a good idea. We've seen a couple of examples of completely misleading information in the past few years regarding celebrities. And as it turns out, this article was no different.
So Jennifer Garner Set The Record Straight
Shutting down further speculation, Garner took to Facebook to clarify she never gave her permission for People's article, and never even posed for a photoshoot for them.
Of the matter, Garner clarified that, while the article was in no way a tragedy, it did affect her and her family:
"This isn't a tragedy by any measure, but it does affect me and my family and so [...] I wanted to set the record straight: I did not pose for this cover. I did not participate in or authorize this article."
She concluded her message by stating she was very happy with her three children. Shortly after her response, a spokesperson for People magazine released a statement, saying its report was truthful and did not rely on rumors. The magazine also made clear that the the article never mentioned anything about Garner being pregnant with twins.
"[It's] fair and truthful. It does not include rumors and does not say she's pregnant."
The magazine apparently misunderstood Garner's statement. The reference to pregnancy rumors seemed to be, at least to me, a tongue-in-cheek joke by Garner due to the fact actresses are always the subject of pregnancy rumor articles. Regardless, it all underscores an ongoing battle between celebrities and the paparazzi-driven media.
Celebrities' Personal Issues Should Not Be Used For Entertainment
There's nothing inherently bad about wanting to know what's going on in our favorite celeb's life; they are in the public eye, after all. But there's a line. When reports like these come out about someone's private matters, the discussion that stems from them shouldn't be intended to fan the speculation flames on who's telling the truth, or to make an already painful situation that much worse. When children are involved, it's that much worse, and it's something that Garner has vocally fought against for years.
The discussion that comes from articles like that should be: Is exposing someone like that (regardless of whether or not it's factual) respectful for the person in question? Not really. That's why, when Affleck and Garner released an official statement on their separation, they stressed it was a private family matter:
"We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."
Celebrities are not attractions; at least, they shouldn't be when they're off screen. As mentioned, it is fair for personalities to give their fans updates on where they are in life every now and then, but that should be it. Struggles as private as divorce or custody battles should never be used as means of entertainment.
At the end of the day, beneath the apparent glamour and fame, they're people and it must feel horrible to have so many rumors started about them or seeing every piece of their private issues squeezed dry for gossip's sake.