Convenient that Channing Tatum is engaged just as his G.I. Joe movie releases. Do publicists have a say in celeb marriage?
—JCabalona, via Twitter
You speak of the criminally sexy union between Step Up costars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The two got married two weekends ago in Malibu, in what was surely an all-singing, all-dancing festival of their love.
And as you've already noted, Tatum has this G.I. Joe movie coming out next month. Maybe you read about the flick in the media's wedding coverage, or maybe you learned about it after seeing Tatum shirtless on the cover of GQ.
You also speak of the hinky timing of the wedding, but really, son. You're not thinking big enough...
In fact, some star marriages wouldn't even exist if not for publicists.
Like? Well, according to a new book on Michael Jackson, both of the late singer's marriages fell somewhere between hoax and epic myth. "I've been around long enough to know that this was nothing more than a publicity stunt," Jackson's former publicist Bob Jones says of the infamous marriage to Lisa Marie Presley in Michael Jackson: Behind the Mask.
Of Debbie Rowe, Jones says, "The marriage and the entire setup with Debbie Rowe was nothing more than a sham. Michael Jackson wasn't the least bit interested in Debbie Rowe."
If what Jones says is true, those two weddings were the latest in a long line of fakes all arranged by publicists or other well-meaning hangers-on. The late Rock Hudson married Phyllis Gates, his agent's secretary; Hudson, of course, was gay. If that wasn't arranged by a publicist, it sure was arranged for publicity.
Now let's get back to the crux of your question: The timing of Tatum's wedding, and do publicists have anything to do with that sort of thing. The answer is sometimes.
"The only time a publicist would have a say in the timing is if the couple wanted to sell the wedding photos," says publicist Howard Bragman, author of Where's My Fifteen Minutes? "If you wanted to consider the champagne sponsor, the wedding ring sponsor, that sort of thing."
In other words, the deadline days of weekly tabloids can have an awful lot to do with the timing of an engagement or a nuptial, at least, if a couple is greedy.
All that said, here's another angle: You're cynical.
"Sometimes love is love," Bragman insists. "And the reason why actors get married when movies are coming out isn't to promote the movie, it's because they're in between projects. It's a scheduling issue."
Join more stars at the alter in our Celebrity Weddings 2009 gallery.