On first glance, putting LeAnn Rimes on the cover of Shape doesn't seem like a "terrible mistake." She looks great!
But enough people complained about the fitness magazine's choice of October cover girl, due to Rimes' love-quadrangle drama, that editor-in-chief Valerie Latona felt compelled to email the subscribers in question an explanation.
"You are all in good company (why I'm e-mailing you all together) as you all agree Shape has made a terrible mistake in putting LeAnn Rimes on the cover," began the email, which was first obtained by TooFab.com.
"Please know that our putting her on the cover was not meant to put a husband-stealer on a pedestal—but to show (through her story) how we all are human. And this woman in particular found strength in exercise in what she said was her most difficult personal moment.
"But it did not come across that way...And for that I'm terribly sorry. I hope that we can do better the next time for those of you that will give us another chance."
The note was signed, "Humbly, Valerie."
"How Working Out Saved Me," read the Rimes story tease on the October cover.
Amid drama fit for a country song, the singer moved in with Eddie Cibrian, the actor she's been accused of "stealing" from Brandi Glanville, the mother of his two children. Glanville, in turn, had plenty of nasty things to say about her ex-husband and his new girlfriend.
Additionally, rumors of a Cibrian-Rimes romance first surfaced when Rimes was still married to husband Dean Sheremet.
And apparently that means some Shape readers couldn't care less about how much lean protein she eats or how many lunges she does.
Latona insists to E! News that "a mere 40 readers out of almost 6 million readers wrote in to complain" and her apology was meant for them, "as I have done for other cover stars in the past."
"My comments have been taken out of context," Latona says. "I used the words of the few unhappy readers who wrote in.
"I stand by the fact that LeAnn's story is compelling—and her courage and strength in the face of so much adversity is compelling. That is why I put her on the cover of Shape for what is now the third time."