Tuesday, January 31, 2012

And We Said It Wouldn't Last: What I Once Told Anderson Cooper About Demi and Ashton

It's good to know that I haven't always been so stupid in love.

Once upon a time, before I got caught up in the rapture of the charms of Argentine men, I had a healthy dose of skepticism and cynicism when it came to romance, and it served me incredibly well on the job. Of course, when you spend years covering celebrities for People magazine and Us Weekly, you learn a thing or two about Hollywood love lives.

Yesterday, while I was writing a post for my blog at The Faster Times on the "whip-it" shenanigans of Demi Moore, I came across a transcript of a CNN interview I did with Anderson Cooper on June 6, 2003, shortly after Demi began dating Ashton Kutcher.

Cooper and I began our chat discussing Bill and Hillary Clinton and who should play them in a TV movie. My choice: Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, "because Barbra is a very controlling woman, very demanding, sort of the perception of what Hillary's like -- and James Brolin, very dashing older gentleman. I think that's the way one perceives Bill."

Then we got down to the good stuff. I was a senior editor at Us Weekly at the time, so I'd seen countless celebrity unions come an go, sometimes in the space between two Monday-night closes. It took a bit longer for Ashton and Demi to flame out, but who didn't see that out of control raging fire coming from nearly a decade away?

COOPER: All right, let's move on to the really important information now, the really important coupling right here to talk about, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. I'm not even sure if I'm pronouncing... Am I pronouncing that name right?


COOPER: De-MI Moore. All right. Whatever... Jeremy, is this relationship real? It is on the cover of Us Weekly, I think People has Demi Moore now on the cover. I've got to tell you, I'm skeptical, but tell us how, allegedly, this thing happened.

HELLIGAR: Well, first of all, it's not really clear when exactly they met. But it's pretty sure that they met probably in early May, late April, when Ashton was in New York City hosting Saturday Night Live.

COOPER: What's got so many people focused on this is, he's 25 years old. She's 40-some-odd years old.


COOPER: To me, it just seems very coincidental. She's got a movie coming out, Charlie's Angels 2. It just seems like a publicist's dream, kind of a setup.... Jeremy, final thought? You think this thing is for real? Do you think it's going to last?

HELLIGAR: I definitely think that it's not going to last. I would not imagine them walking down the altar, wedding bells. Forget it. But you have to also remember, Charlie's Angels is a franchise. And it's going to do well, whether Demi has a public affair or not. So...

COOPER: Right. Well, every little bit helps.

The wedding bells did ring a couple of years later, but ultimately, the pair ended up exactly where they were supposed to be: Kutcher on Two and a Half Men, Moore at home inhaling "whip-its." Crazy love, Hollywood style.
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