Dominating the rumour mill this week: the alleged impending divorce of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.
The tabloid tale has played out in the typical way: things were jumpstarted by a screaming Star cover (Star has long been on Kutcher’s tail), TMZ dug up some relevant pics, and the Internet at large jumped on the bandwagon.
The classic age-gap couple has been plagued by this kind of stuff before.
At this round’s outset, there was no reason to believe Moore or Kutcher were planting or fueling the rumour. And maybe they aren’t.
But for whatever reason, they’re now deliberately keeping it alive.
There are ways to squash the gossip. When Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony split earlier this year, they got out ahead of the news cycle by issuing a statement.
Conversely, when Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith had the spotlight turned on them, they quickly denied the claims and headed outside to be photographed holding hands.
And Kutcher himself has had his rep step in on cheating accusations before.
There’s been no word from the rep this week.
What there has been is cryptic tweets from both Moore and Kutcher, who both have a notoriously large legion of followers.
So they’re not shielding themselves from the story — they’re adding plot twists to it.
Kutcher doesn’t need any help when it comes to “Two and a Half Men” press — but we doubt you would have heard about the Lifetime film Moore directed without this.
Then there’s their anti-sex-slavery initiative. Media conventions dictate that a celebrity’s charitable effort won’t score them any magazine covers — but factor in the possibility of an intimate exclusive, and boom.
You’ve got Demi tearing up over Ashton in the pages of Vanity Fair whilst reviewing new campaign materials for “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” at her DNA Foundation desk.
(She’s tweeted about DNA twice in the past 24 hours, by the way.)
Long story short: this could all be a skilled social media publicity stunt — albeit one with a heart of gold.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.