It’s opening weekend for “Mission Impossible: 3” (my review: it’s great), so let me begin with a ditty about how Tom Cruise’s bizarre behavior has made him an even bigger target than usual for an industry with lots of arrows.
This week, it's the dirty truth about tabloid journalism that gossip fans still find hard to swallow: sometimes stuff that’s printed simply isn’t true.
An item from London spread like wildfire over the Internet this week, claiming that Cruise put paramour Katie Holmes on the “Buff Brides” fitness regimen so she would lose weight for their impending wedding.
The piece quoted “Buff Brides” author Sue Fleming as telling London’s Daily Mirror, “Katie can and will do it... She has great motivation. She loves her fiance and was proud that Tom oversaw this program. He told her he wanted her to be the most beautiful bride ever. She was in tears when he said that.”
Also quoted was Brad Kaufman, referred to as “the company’s fitness man,” who said, “The wedding is on the fast track. We’ve been told to get Katie into amazing shape. It’s all systems go.”
A meaty item or just blubber? I tracked down Fleming to find out.
After hearing her quotes read back to her, Fleming said that she never talked about Tom “overseeing” the program. In fact, she never mentioned Tom’s name at all.
I asked how she heard about Katie using her “Buff Brides” workout.
She said that some trainers she knew in Los Angeles told her that they heard through the grapevine that Katie was using the “Buff Brides” workout. Fleming added that she doesn’t know Katie, Tom or any trainers who may be working with Katie.
That’s the entire story, and if you didn’t get it the first time, let me repeat it: Some trainer friends in L.A. heard from some other unknown people that Katie was using the “Buff Brides” regimen.
Suddenly I wondered if disgraced ex-New York Times reporter Jayson Blair was now a “reporter” in London.
I then asked about Kaufman, since the article made it seem as if he worked for “Buff Brides.”
“I have no idea who he is,” Fleming said. “I’ve never heard of him. There are lots of gyms out there that use my ‘Buff Brides’ program, but if they advertise it, they’re supposed to pay me a licensing fee. I guess I should look into that.”
Fleming is a highly regarded fitness guru at a prestigious private school in New York City, and her “Buff Brides” books were parlayed into a TV series. On the phone, she’s personable and sweet.
And she’s gotten hundreds of e-mails since her item about Katie using “Buff Brides” came out.
While the London reporter may have twisted her words to play into the whole image of Cruise as a controlling freak, it certainly doesn’t hurt Fleming to have the world think that Katie is indeed using her regime.
And Katie may very well be using her regime. Trouble is … well, if you haven’t figured out the trouble by now, you should read all the tabloids you like to your heart's delight.
And if you do that, I’ve got some property near swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you….