Published December 16, 2008
You pretty much can’t pick up a supermarket tabloid or read a gossip blog without getting this message: Gwyneth Paltrow’s marriage to Coldplay’s Chris Martin is over. That’s it, done, over and out, stick a fork in ‘em.
There are many “reasons” given for this starting with the insistence that because no pictures have been taken of the couple together in recent months, they must be finito. It makes so much sense!
Not so, however. I recently had a nice chat with Gwyneth’s mom, the splendid actress Blythe Danner. She was very surprised when I told her what was going on.
“They don’t take pictures together if they can avoid it. It’s a strategy. They don’t want the pandemonium.” She might have been referring to endless publicity seeking of couples like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, the Beckhams, and Brangelina.
In fact, Danner says the couple are just fine, thanks. “They’re staying in England for the new year. Then coming here.” Danner didn’t confirm this rumor, but I am told that Gwyneth will be a right by Martin’s side when Coldplay goes up for numerous Grammy awards on February 8th.
Some of the reasoning I’ve read for this putative divorce is kind of ridiculous, too. The British tabs insist that newly divorced Madonna has cast a svengali like pall over Paltrow, swaying her to join the single life. Paltrow, however, is quite unlike Madonna in all ways. For one thing, Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner were happily married, and would have remained so if Paltrow hadn’t died of cancer a few years ago. Gwyneth’s upbringing, background and education could not be more different than that of Madonna.
I’m told that Sony Music may have found a solution to their mess with Rick Rubin. They’re going to quietly offload him to a side label deal, and remove him from the main company.
This is what sources say, and it makes sense. As I told you last week, Rubin has been a costly adventure for Sony. He’s produced a hit album for another label — Metallica, for Atlantic — and several CDs that were interesting but failed to spark sales.
Rubin also moved Sony’s Los Angeles offices from modest digs in Santa Monica to the old CAA headquarters in Beverly Hills. At a time when people are being laid off and music isn’t selling, this seemed imprudent. Also, Rubin doesn’t even use the office. He works from home.
If this new story is true, and it seems to be, Rubin can stay home. Sony Music will then be down to two chiefs: Rob Stringer and Steve Barnett. Considering the scarcity of sales and hits these days, that should be enough.
What finally pushed the Sony chiefs to do something about Rubin? Maybe it was the stunning news last week that Rubin — who’s being paid a fortune by Sony — had been recording tracks with rival Universal Music Group’s U2 for their new album! And then to add insult to injury, U2 rejected the tracks. So Rubin’s work was totally for naught.