Gwyneth Paltrow was furious after Vanity Fair Editor-In-Chief Graydon Carter set out to publish what the media dubbed an “epic takedown” of the actress.
Only problem is that the resulting piece, which was assigned by Carter and written by contributing editor Vanessa Grigoriadis, was nowhere near the scathing piece people hoped.
“It was such a far cry from the almost mythical story that people were by now expecting — the ‘epic takedown,’ filled with ‘bombshell’ revelations — that it was bound to be a disappointment,” Carter explains in this month’s revealing Editor’s Letter. “What to do? I decided to sit on it for a time.”
Carter explains that “what began so innocently quickly took a turn” when Grigoriadis reached out to Paltrow’s representatives and friends.”
He explains, “She asked that they not speak to Vanity Fair about her, or about anything else ever again. Ever. Never. Kim Jong-un couldn’t have issued a more blanket demand.”
In October, Paltrow called Carter amid the back-and-forth, “will it or won’t it run” controversy:
We talked for about 20 minutes about the story and her reaction, or over-reaction, to it. At one point, she asked my advice as to what to do to get the “haters” on her side. I suggested putting on 15 pounds. I joked that it works for me. She replied I had put on much more than that. Which I thought was fair and funny. Two months after the phone call, Web sites lit up with news of a truce. We received more mail, much of it now criticising us for caving.
Ultimately, Carter says “The fact is the Gwyneth Paltrow story, the one we ordered up, as delightfully written as it was, is not the one the anti-Gwynethites expect. That it has generated more mail and attention than many of the biggest stories we’ve ever published only makes the situation more complicated.”
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