When did Jennifer Lawrence become so dislikable?

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She burst onto the media scene in 2011 as America’s new sweetheart with a penchant for honesty and reliability, but just seven years later the girl affectionately known as JLaw has become one of the most polarising celebrities in the landscape of fame.

Mentions of the actress which almost always used to result in an unashamed fan-girling session or enthusiastic response of ‘I love her!’ now resulted in responses of ‘I used to really like her, but…’ or even an awkward argument about why Mother! sort of sucked.

No star since Julia Roberts and her A Low Vera ordeal has ever fallen so fast in the eyes of the public.

So. What the fuck happened?

A few say that the world turned on JLaw when her naked pictures were leaked, believing that the mystery of the celebrity girl-next-door was erased, damaging her appeal. Others insist it wasn’t the leaking of the images, but rather the way that she responded to the situation.

Lawrence, then 24, called the leak a “sex crime” and a “sexual violation”, and added that viewers of the images should be ashamed of their part in a sexual offence. It was a far cry from the ‘cool chick’ persona Lawrence had previously adopted in interviews and appearances, the persona that didn’t take anything too seriously.

Perhaps it was when Lawrence started to seem ungrateful for film roles that thousands of other actresses would kill for a shot at.

“I kind of f—ed myself,” Lawrence told Entertainment Weekly about appearing in the latest X-Men Movie. “Because when I was trying to talk Simon into directing, he said something like, ‘If I direct it, you have to do it,’ and I was like, ‘Of course! Duh!’ Then they offered me the movie, and I was like, ‘Goddammit!’”

If that wasn’t bad enough, Lawrence bad treatment of fans garnered a lot of negative media attention.

During a chat with Adam Sandler as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors joint interview series, Lawrence admitted she deliberately acted rude to fans to stop them from asking for selfies, “Once I enter a public place, I become incredibly rude. I turn into a huge a**hole.”

Lawrence even revealed that she got into a fight with a fan reacted badly to the star refusing a selfie.

“Something in me just snapped — but it couldn’t have been the alcohol,” she said on the Late Night With Seth Meyers.. “I grabbed him, I took beers and I started dousing him, all over him.”

Lawrence didn’t stop there, however; she saw that the fan also had a suitcase and made quick work covering that in beer as well.

“I was like, ‘Is that your sh-t?!’ I started pouring beers all over his suitcase. My friend Chris came up, grabbed me from behind and goes, ‘Don’t waste beer! Don’t waste beer!’ I instantly relaxed. I was like, ‘Of course! What was I thinking?’”

Others say she took a turn for the worse when she spoke out on her liberal political and feminist beliefs. In the time leading up the divisive Presidential Election in 2016, Lawrence controversially slammed Republicans in an interview with Vogue and even spoke about seeking out Trump at a concert to ‘flip him off’ on The Graham Norton Show.

It was the sort of thing that people expected from Hollywood moviestars like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but not from their honest and relatable girl-next-door from Kentucky. No, no, no. That wasn’t what she would say. Could America’s Sweetheart really only be the sweetheart of half of America?

Instead of outspoken political beliefs, could it be as simple as overexposure that sent JLaw spiralling into divisive town? The same problem that wiped out Jude Law’s movie star career in early to mid 2000’s. Or was it when the star publicly befriended controversial figures such as The Kardashians and Amy Schumer? Could it even be that the perception of the star was that she was too calculated with people finding her multiple Oscar falls too contrived?

Ultimately, there are many reasons that people cite for their newfound dislike of the Academy Award winner. It could be as simple as one or two, or it could be an toxic combination of many. All I know for sure is that the girl from 2011 that shot to fame and stole our hearts is no longer the Jennifer Lawrence of today. And there’s something about that fact that is incredibly sad.

 

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A List Actors & Their Biggest Paydays

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Jim Carrey and Julia Roberts broke down doors when it came to actors earning the big bucks for movie projects, but ever since Carrey earned $20 million for The Cable Guy in ’95 and Roberts earned $20 million for Erin Brockovich in ’99, the salaries of major actors have only gotten bigger and better.

In this article we take a look at the biggest salaries ever received for movies.

And it’s not the greatest news if you’re a woman.

Keanu Reeves

Movie: The Matrix: Reloaded / The Matrix: Revolutions

Salary: $256 Million Dollars

It’s often claimed Keanu Reeves took home around $150 million for the final two movies in The Matrix trilogy, but a source tells us that it was almost a hundred million more than that with Reeves getting $15 million per movie and an additional 15% of the total gross. Reeves allegedly donated a huge chunk of his total takings, which makes him an ageless vampire and a philanthropist.

Bruce Willis

Movie: The Sixth Sense

Salary: $100 Million Dollars

Loving the M. Night Shyamalan script, Willis took a huge pay cut to star in the iconic thriller, agreeing a salary of $10 million (down from his usual 20) and a share in the gross, which evidently is how you make the big money as a Hollywood actor. The gamble paid off and Willis received almost exactly $100 million dollars when all was done.

Tom Cruise

Movie: War of the Worlds

Salary: $100 Million Dollars

Tom Cruise is one of the most successful actors in the world in part due to the lucrative Mission: Impossible franchise, but it was actually thanks to his decision not to take any salary for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of War of the Worlds and just a percentage of the gross, that saw the actor earn his biggest payday of a stunning $100 million dollars.

Mission: Impossible 2 & 3 come close, however, with Cruise receiving a mouth-watering $75 million to star in each.

Will Smith

Movie: Men In Black 3

Salary: $100 Million Dollars

The only black actor on our list, Will Smith, on a lukewarm run at the box office, signed up for the third instalment of Men In Black for a reported $20 million dollars and a stake in the home video earnings as well as a percentage of the gross. End result? $100 million dollars. It wasn’t all good, though. MIB3’s production was so notoriously bad and the gross disappointing for the studio that a sequel is unlikely to ever happen.

Sandra Bullock

Movie: Gravity

Salary: $70 Million Dollars +

One of only two women to make the list, Sandra Bullock made one of the best deals in Hollywood history, signing up for the science-fiction disaster film Gravity for a huge lump sump payment of $20 million dollars and 15% of the gross of the movie. That resulted in Sandy walking away with her biggest payday for a movie ever with $70 million dollars.

And that figure doesn’t include the share of the DVDs and TV revenues Bullock apparently also received a share in.

Harrison Ford

Movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Salary: $65 Million Dollars

Forbes claim Paramount agreed to split most of the profits between Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford, which results in the latter making a nice $65 million off his last outing as the adventurer.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Movie: Inception

Salary: $59 Million

Vanity Fair claims DiCaprio bypassed a salary and just took points in Christopher Nolan’s convoluted blockbuster. Another smart decision by a smart actor who was $59 million dollars richer by the end of it.

Jack Nicholson

Movie: Batman

Salary: $56 Million Dollars

You would think Jack’s biggest payday might be something like Anger Management or As Good As It Gets, but after agreeing to a pay cut of $6 million dollars (down from 10) and  a share of the gross (damn smart), Nicholson earned more than anyone else in the movie, including the titular actor and director Tim Burton. That $56 million remains the biggest payday for Jack and also a superhero film.

Johnny Depp

Movie: Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

Salary: $55 Million Dollars

With Orlando Bloom and Keira Kightley departing the franchise, Disney resorted to paying Johnny Depp an upfront $35 million dollars to star in the fourth instalment of the pirates franchise, as well as agreeing a small percentage of the gross.

Robert Downey Jr.

Movie: The Avengers

Salary: $55 Million Dollars

Not only did Robert Downey Jr. get above the title and top billing, Downey also earned more than everybody in the superhero ensemble combined with an insane $50 million payday for the Joss Whedon movie. Not bad for an actor once on the lowest rung of Hollywood.

Cameron Diaz

Movie: Bad Teacher

Salary: $42 Million Dollars

It was Diaz’s last hit movie before her abrupt retirement and like Bullock, Diaz signed up for a salary and a big share in the overall gross. The Mask actress received $1 million upfront and ended up walking home with $42 million when the movie grossed over $200 million at the box office. Not bad for a movie that the critics hated.

Tom Hanks

Movie: Forest Gump

Salary: $40 Million Dollars

During one of the greatest and most successful runs of any actor ever, Hanks parlayed that into a starring role in the now iconic Forest Gump and – like director Robert Zemeckis – instead of taking a salary took profit participation. The director and star both made $40 million dollars.

The author of the book, however, only received a small upfront salary and his percentage points in the movie resulting in nothing as the studio claimed. See: Hollywood Accounting.

 

What Ever Happened To… The Cast of Smallville?

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Smallville ran for ten seasons from 2001 to 2011 and inspired devotion from legions of nerds and dorks for its original approach to the origin tale of Superman, but over 5 years since the CW show ended — we have to ask: what ever happened to the cast of Smallville?

It’s safe to say nobody from the cast became household names. You’d be fully aware if one of the Smallville regulars was on the level of Chris Pratt or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, but that isn’t to say  the cast faded into complete obscurity.


Tom Welling as Clark Kent

Welling played the main character in the superhero series and despite earning praise for his square jaw and darkly handsome looks, the New York native is one of the least successful cast members.

Welling’s biggest success post-Smallville comes in the form of an appearance in the Kevin Costner-Jennifer Garner flop Draft Day from 2014.

Come on, Tom. You can do better. Even the plank of wood Brandon Routh parlayed playing Superman into a mediocre career.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT


Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang

Kreuk portrayed Lana Lang, the relatively obscure cousin of the more popular Lois Lane, for the the first 8 series, appearing in 158 episodes as the primary love interest.

In 2012, Kreuk starred in The CW’s remake of Beauty & the Beast (not the Disney one) as the titular beauty and the poorly received series ran for four mediocre series before finally getting cancelled in 2016.

Fun Fact: George R.R. Martin was a writer on the original Beauty and the Beast.


Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan

The popular Allison Mack appeared in the most episodes of Smallville after Welling and won two Teen Awards for her part.

Since the show wrapped, though, Mack has mostly been a jobbing actress, appearing in episodes of The Following, American Odyssey and Wilfred on FX.

Her career was better before Smallville. At least she got to appear in an episode of 7th Heaven.


Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor

The main villain of the first 7 series of the show, TV Guide included Rosenbaum’s Lex Luxor on their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time. That’s enough to make it superior to Jesse Eisenberg’s autistic portrayal of the character in Batman v Superman for me.

Rosenbaum’s biggest success since leaving the show came with Impastor, a TVLand sitcom that ran for two series before being cancelled. Not anything to write home about.

DESERVED BETTER


John Glover as Lionel Luthor

Another obscure relative of an iconic character, Glover played the father of super villain Lex and was nominated for two Saturn Awards for his troubles.

Glover has since appeared in 5 episodes on The Good Wife and has done one episode appearances in show such as The Blacklist and Perception.


Erica Durance as Lois Lane

Durance won the memorable role of Lois Lane against “dozens” of actresses according to executive producer Greg Beeman , which makes you wonder why they didn’t bother to do a chemistry test with Durance and Welling before signing a contract. Trust me, opposite magnets have better chemistry than Durance and Welling in Smalville.

Despite lacking chemistry with her leading man, Durance has enjoyed the most success out of the main cast, finding consistent work on the Canadian medical drama Saving Hope and bagging a recurring part in The CW’s Supergirl as Alura Zor-El.

MOST SUCCESSFUL

Lifting the Lids on Injunctions

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The Gossip Life always does the unthinkable and has in the past, lifted the lids on several prominent injunctions, obtained by A-list celebrities in various fields such as football, music and entertainment.

Tabloids went crazy with their postings of the obtained junctions, withholding the identity of the celebrities involved. We go further with our reveals. Here is our salacious summary:

Injunction: A married footballer obtained an injunction to prevent the story of his affair with 18 y/o lingerie model, Kimberly West, surfacing.

Identity: Sulley Muntari

Former Portsmouth and Inter Milan footballer Sulley Muntari is the married footballer that had the affair with the lingerie model Kimberly West, 18. Muntari, 31, kept his marriage hidden from West and when she discovered the situation, West ended the affair. Injunction obtained in 2011.

Muntari currently plies his trade (see: cashing in) in Saudi Arabia for Ittihad FC, where his lust for 18 y/o white ‘models’ is no doubt satisfied in abundance.

Injunction: Another married footballer obtained an injunction prevent the story of his affairs surfacing.

Identity: Robbie Keane

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane is the footballer that obtained an injunction to stop the UK press from publishing stories of his sordid affairs. Keane, 35, has been married since 2008 and has one child with  former Miss Ireland contestant Claudine Palmer. One of the affairs took place just before his 2008 wedding and another took place several months after.

Keane is a former star striker for both Tottenham and Liverpool, which, in my journalistic opinion, makes his transgressions even more unforgivable. The man is scum!

Injunction: An A-list actor paid Wayne Rooney prostitute, Helen Wood, for sex, where she used a sex toy on him.

Identity: Hugh Bonneville

He played quite the regal gentleman on Downton Abbey, but Hugh Bonneville has been up to some quite seedy things in real life. The Paddinton actor has been revealed today to have paid reality star Helen Wood £190 for sex during her hooking days back in 2011. Wood also allegedly used a sex toy on the actor.

Bonneville, 52, obtained an injunction to prevent the story from surfacing, but the injunction has been lifted and the story has surfaced

Bonneville has been married since 1998 and has a child.

Injunction: The Premier League manager obtained an injunction to prevent the story of his text affair surfacing.

Identity: Alan Pardew

The Gossip Life can exclusively reveal that the Premier League manager that obtained an injunction to prevent the story of his text affair surfacing is current Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, 54.

Pardew, a journeyman football manager, has managed West Ham, Charlton, Southampton and a scandal apparently. Pardew had been married to wife Tina for several years when he requested pictures from a woman in high heels, stockings and without underwear as a reward for his then team winning an away game. Tina Pardew was believed to be suffering from extreme stress at the time and making suicide threats.

Pardew not only obtained an injunction to prevent the story from surfacing in the UK, but he actively ensured there was no chance any newspaper were considering it; frequently renewing the injunction, according to the Daily Mail.

Pardew is believed to have had several injunctions currently preventing stories of affairs, two of which are said to involve a young Liverpudlian singer and the other involving the wife of one of his former footballers.

One can only assume this couldn’t have happened during Pardew’s tenure as West Ham manager. After all, it’s mentioned he wanted saucy pictures “as a reward for his then team winning an away game.”

Flashback Post: This post originally appeared on the Gossip Life 27/08/16.

Best Blind Item Reveals of 2017… So Far

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We’re just over halfway through 2017 and the year has been a cracker for gossip so far with Johnny Depp finally getting rid of the lecherous Amber Heard, Jennifer Garner finally getting rid of the lecherous Ben Affleck and Sienna Miller suffering a rather humiliated naked picture of leak.

Thanks to your friends here at the Gossip Life the vast majority of these stories were whispered to you ahead of them breaking into the mainstream media.

In this post, we pat ourselves of the back (mostly Christina) and celebrate the best blind item reveals of 2017… so far.

5. Bill O’Reilly FIRED By Fox News

Fox News tried to tell you they were sticking by Bill O’Reilly, despite the countless accusations of sexual assault breaking into the mainstream media. We told you otherwise. Guess who was correct in the end?

4. Moonlight Wins Best Picture

La La Land was the favourite to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year and despite a horribly humiliating mishap (I still blame Faye Runaway) that saw La La Land originally handed the shiny statuette , Moonlight walked away from the event as the winner. Members of the Academy started talking to Christina well before the event and told her what the tee was.

3. Hillary Clinton Is Sick

Before the crazy adventure of the US Election of 2016 officially began, the Gossip Life posted a blind item detailing the poor health of a candidate. Fast forward a year or so later, Hillary Clinton’s health issues were well known and the Democratic nominee even publicly fainted after a 9/11 memorial.

2. Ben Affleck Hates Batman

Ben Affleck had only put on the Batsuit for one disappointing movie before Christina was informed Affleck wanted out of the role. Shortly after Christina posted the blind, the rumours hit the mainstream and Affleck promptly dropped out of directing the upcoming solo movie. No word on whether Affleck is still attached to portray the caped crusader in the future.

1. Sienna Miller’s Embarrassed Nude Leaks

Don’t pretend for moment you don’t remember this. I’m still trying to forget. A worthy winner!

Nicole Kidman vs Jessica Lange Closest Emmy Race In Years

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The Primetime Emmy Awards take place on September 17, 2017, but the analysis and estimations of the award show are already well underway with GoldDerby selecting the likely nominees and likely winners on their predictions site.

Netflix’s The Crown is fully expected to win Best Drama Series while Veep is the favourite for comedy, but it’s the acting categories where the stakes get higher and a lot more competitive.

According to the experts on GoldDerby, Best Drama Actress is a three way battle between Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaiden’s Tale, The American’s Keri Russell and The Crown’s Claire Foy. Moss is the likely winning although Foy has supporters on her side too.

It’s the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie where the category is absolutely staked, though with FX’s Feud fighting it out with HBO’s Big Little Lies.

Jessica Lange, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Susan Sarandon all compete for the prestigious award with Lange having a slight advantage (10 GoldDerby supporters) going into the nominations announcement.

Kidman is by far the closest competition, trailing Lange narrowly with 9 GoldDerby supporters. With Kidman’s co-star Reese Witherspoon also being in with a shout, GoldDerby speculate Witherspoon could split the votes and cost her Aussie friend, but admit Sarandon could do the same to her Feud co-star Lange.

Lange has been richly awarded by the Emmys in the past, winning 3 in the past 8 years. Kidman, Sarandon and Witherspoon have yet to win a single Emmy despite several nominations between. GoldDerby speculate that could serve Kidman well with Emmy members deciding Lange has already won enough.

Primetime Emmy nominations are announced July 13.

 

The Top 3 Worst Celebs of 2017… So Far

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On Trash Watch I usually cover the trashiest of the trashiest celebrities. It’s a fun gig and it’s always enjoyable to mock Bella Thorne’s latest puffy nip slip, Kylie Jenner’s latest garbage product or the very lost Ariel Winter’s latest desperate attempt for attention, but I never feel as I truly scratch the surface of the disgusting people living in Hollywood.

So, I thought I would  change all of that and recognise the truly worst celebrities of 2017… so far.

3. Kathy Griffin

Imagine fucking up so badly in your attack against President Trump that your best friend Anderson Cooper, half of Tumblr and even Chelsea fuckin’ Clinton slam you for your lack of taste. Well, that’s the world hacky comedian and plastic surgery warning Kathy Griffin is living in since releasing a video and a picture of herself holding the severed head of the President of the United States.

This is the same woman – I kid you not – that once criticised Elisabeth Hasselbeck for not ‘respecting the office of the President.’

I hear Kathy Griffitnis now working on a book: ‘How To Fuck Up Your Irrelevant Career’

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

Goop is a pretentious asshole. We know this. We accept this. Some of us even like this. HOWEVER, Goop and her stupid newsletter / website thing crossed line this year by outright lying to its consumers to the point NASA, of all people, had to step in and say, ‘Cut the bullshit.’

That’s not all that’s landed Goop on the list, though. Her consistently bad health tips that anyone with a brain would brand retarded continue to clog the internet and mislead her clearly mentally vulnerable audience. Throwing a glitter bomb in the vagina? Inserting jade eggs in the vagina? Steaming your vagina like it’s broccoli?

By the way, is anyone else getting the vibe Goop has a fixation with the vagina?

  1. Amber Heard

Was there ever any doubt? The opportunistic Amber Heard’s divorce to Johnny Depp was finalised this year after a tempestuous marriage that saw her profile significantly raised, her career skyrocket and her pockets, of course, impressively lined.

As soon as Heard filed for divorce from Depp, the trashy trash went to war with the actor in the tabloids, leaking information, accusations and pictures that damaged Depp’s career and changed the way many of us look at the once endearingly disgusting movie star.

If all of that wasn’t bad enough, Amber almost immediately wrangled another highly successful man in billionaire Elon Musk. I imagine she’s sucking the life force out of him already.

The Sad Story of WWE Legend Tammy “Sunny” Sytch

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“I know you want me!” she sang memorably in her theme tune, and boy oh boy they did.

She was born Tamara “Tammy” Lynn Sytch in 1972 in New Jersey with dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon or a doctor, but before she was even twenty years old she fell into the seductive grips of the wrestling industry.

Her high school boyfriend Chris Candido wanted to be a wrestler. He’d wrestled for several years on the independent circle in New Jersey, plying his trade and learning the ropes. It was there that in 1992 Jim Cornette, owner and Booker of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, took a liking to the handsome twenty year old Chris and his beautiful blonde girlfriend, but there was a problem.

“I couldn’t afford to pay either of them enough to move on their own,” Cornette recalls on his website, “but if they both wanted to work for me, they could come as a couple. Chris would wrestle, Tammy would manage, but they would not be ‘together’ on the air.”

Sytch was sold. She transferred schools and moved down to Kentucky with Candido. Going by Tamara Fytch, Sytch adopted a liberal, snobby character that idolised Hillary Clinton. Within months, the nursing student was a hit.

“Tammy was scary good at ringside,” Cornette tells, claiming Sytch was already involved with “complicated, main event programs after less than six months in the business.”

Unlike Sytch, Candido had a more arduous journey to the top of Smoky Mountain. Instead of an instant main event push like the one Sytch received, Candido worked his way up from the bottom, opening Smoky Mountain shows in warm-up matches. He soon showed his worth and succeeded himself, winning the US Junior Heavyweight Title and rising to the main event.

It was then Cornette decided to pair up the young couple on-screen. Candido formed a tag team with Brian Lee, and Sytch accompanied the duo as their manager. The tag team won the SMW Tag Team Championships and after their separation, Candido with Sytch by his side won the company’s top belt, the prestigious, NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Soon the WWF came calling.

Sytch was brought into the WWF as Tamara Murphy, an announcer. She was to commentate on the matches in a traditional manner and sell the story in the ring, hosting “Live Event News” segments during the WWF’s television shows, but the WWF soon realised Sytch was ill-suited to the role and transitioned into what she fit — a manager.

The WWF had no qualms with pairing Sytch with Candido and the two adopted the personas of villainous fitness fanatics, Sunny and Skip. Zip soon joined the team and the gimmick took off. In a meteoric rise, the Bodydonnas, as they were collectively called, won the WWF Tag Team Championships on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania; Sunny was born.

Sunny resonated with fans. She was AOL’s most downloaded woman of the year and acclaimed wrestling publication PWI’s Manager of the Year for 1996, becoming the first woman to win the award and beating out industry veterans Jimmy Hart and former boss, Jim Cornette.

The Bodydonnas split and Sunny took off. She was once again separated from Candido and pushed into the intercontinental championship scene, managing Farooq Asaad, as well as valeting for cartoonish, popular tag teams such as the Godwinns and the Smoking Gunns. It was during this period the Sytch did the unthinkable. She achieved mainstream notoriety, appearing on MTV’s Singled Out and Entertainment Tonight. Not since Hulk Hogan had a wrestling talent been popular with the outside world. In a time when wrestling was in the dumps in terms of crossover appeal, Sunny, against all odds, had scored some.

Although Sunny was riding high against the tide, boyfriend Candido’s career wasn’t going nearly as well. After losing the WWF Tag Team Championship and Sunny as a manager, Candido found himself in wrestling purgatory, working pointless programs with lesser talent. It was a hard fall from grace, but things were about to even get worse for Skip.

Sunny may have been a highly popular character with the fans, but Sytch’s popularity backstage was in the toilet.

“She did a lot of lying,” recalls Phineas Godwinn, a former client that Sunny managed onscreen. “She could be a very evil person.”

“She had so much heat,” Henry Godwinn concurred, the other half of the Godwinns and another wrestler Sunny managed onscreen. “In Germany they had to send her home a week early because somebody shit in her food.”

Sytch was despised. Old boss and mentor Cornette, who had since joined the WWF behind-the-scenes, recalls being made Sytch’s “official office contact for everything because everyone else was exasperated by dealing with her.”

He recalls chastising her for out of control expenses ($80 breakfasts including 10 egg white omelettes, yum!) and for tardiness, but no bigger sin and source of backstage hatred was her affair with legendary wrestler, Shawn Michaels.

In the mid 90s, Shawn Michaels was main event talent in the WWF, the on-and-off champion and by many accounts, an absolute asshole. Notorious for his addiction to painkillers and god-knows-what-else, Michaels and several other wrestlers had formed an offscreen faction nicknamed The Clique, a team of powerful talent that influenced booking and salaries to their favour.

“Shawn and I had a relationship for almost nine months,” Sunny recalls, insisting she and Candido had ended their relationship at that point. “It wasn’t just two people having sex on the road. It was a relationship. We kept it under wraps as best we could. A few people found out.”

Other wrestlers remember the relationship somewhat differently. Zip of the Bodydonnas, Kevin ‘Diesel’ Nash and many more corroborate the theory the relationship was indeed an affair. The late Paul Bearer even told a tale of confronting Candido with the news of his girlfriend’s infidelity. “One day in Madison Square Garden, I called him out in front of all the boys. I said, ‘Chris, come here.’ I called him around the back and said, ‘This is what everyone thinks…’ He said, ‘But Percy, I love her.'”

Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman was convinced Candido knew of the affair, but failed to say anything because he wanted Sytch to be happy. The belief in the WWF locker room as a whole was Candido didn’t deserve Sytch.

Amidst the rumours and gossip, Skip skipped out on the WWF and quit. An unsubstantiated rumor claims Candido learnt of Sytch’s affair with Michaels and quit on the spot. Skip and Zip of the Bodydonnas gone. Only Sunny remained, but her days with Shawn Michaels were numbered.

Bret Hart was another top star in the WWF and he and Sytch were good friends, but although Sytch and Hart assert their relationship was strictly platonic, the paranoid, pill-popping Michaels didn’t seem to think so.

“I was a big source of heat between Shawn and Bret,” Sytch reminisces. “Because Shawn thought I was banging Bret, but I wasn’t.”

Michaels even worked his belief into one of his promos. During his heated rivalry with Hart, Michaels shouted into a microphone, “Even though lately you’ve had some sunny days.” Uh-oh. This on air shot reportedly led to a backstage altercation between Michaels and the very much married Hart, which Hart is said to have won.

It’s hard to believe considering the two stable, sane participants, but the Michaels-Sytch relationship ended in early 1997 and Michaels went on to controversially capture the WWF World Heavyweight Champion from Hart (See: Montreal Screwjob), and  Sytch went on to host several WWF television shows, whilst also embarking on a short lived affair with a different married wrestler, Davey Boy Smith. “Yes, I slept with Davey,” admits Sytch openly. “Off and on. Davey came after Shawn.”

Sytch’s reputation backstage was at an all time low, and her on air career was about to suffer.

Sable, a former model for Pepsi and Guess?, had debuted in the WWF in 1996 as the valet of real life husband, Marc Mero. Whereas Sunny’s charm had “girl next door” appeal, Sable brought to the table a different aura, unseen before in a wrestling ring, sexy goddess-esque.

“They were two completely different types of women with their own appeal,” Vince Russo, the head writer of the WWF at the time, recalls. “Sunny was the girl next door and Sable was the mysterious, exotic beauty.”

With her husband sidelined with injury, Sable remained on air talent and within a year of debuting, her popularity easily eclipsed her husband’s and to her chagrin, Sunny’s. Sable received PPV bikini matches and magazine covers, whilst Sunny was turned into a “good guy” and lumbered into managing the past-their-peak, Legion of Doom 2000. Sunny had been toppled by Sable, and Sunny absolutely resented her for it.

“Normally, it wouldn’t have been a contest since Tammy was hotter and could outdo Sable at anything,” remembers Cornette, “but Sable had the backing of the office and knew who not to argue with, so Tammy got the heat and Sable was given more high-profile spots.”

“There was no doubt that Sunny was just flat out jealous of Sable,” Vince Russo claims.

Sytch denied the charge of jealousy. “A lot of people think I had a professional jealously, but that completely was not the case,” Sytch claims.

The rivalry reached such fiery peaks that Cornette tells a tale of once talking Sytch out of walking into Sable’s locker room and throttling her. “She [Sable] was pushed to the moon despite not being able, even refusing to learn how, to wrestle, not really able to perform in any way, and cutting horrible promos in a monotone, Stepford Wives-type delivery. She knew nothing about wrestling and didn’t care to find out. This not only offended the ‘star’ in Sunny, but the wrestling fan in Tammy.”

Sable and Sunny’s relationship reached rock bottom (forgive me!) when Sable received and accepted an offer from Playboy. Sunny and Cornette assert that Sunny had been offered the opportunity first and turned it down, Sable denied Sunny had even been approached. It caused problems. Sunny had lost the spotlight to Sable, and Tammy Sytch had lost the office’s backing to Rena Mero (Sable).

Before the Playboy cover was even released to the public and in July 1998, Sunny was fired by the WWF. Her contract, set to expire in October 2001 and worth a mid-six figure sum, was terminated amidst backstage tension with Sable, no-showing several appearances and fervent rumours of drug usage.

Former boss Cornette maintains he never saw Sytch drink or do drugs in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. “I don’t believe Tammy ever took a pill, or even drank a beer during her entire near two-year run in SMW.”  As with many wrestlers, Sytch is believed to have picked up her addictions on the stressful schedule in the toxic working environment that was the WWF in the mid 90’s.

After her dismissal from the WWF, Sytch reunited with offscreen boyfriend Candido, and together they enjoyed short stints in major wrestling companies such as ECW and the WCW for the next two years. Both tenures were marred by controversy with accusations aimed at Sytch’s alleged substance abuse and promiscuity.

“We were on the roof of a club in Miami where she was blowing [ECW wrestler] Raven,” claims ECW veteran Sandman. “She just had her hands out for pills. [I was] walking into the boiler room to go get high and Sabu’s in there getting a blowjob from Tammy. He doesn’t give her the somas until she’s done the blowjob.”

“No, she never blew me,” refutes ECW wrestler Sabu, “but she tried. A bunch of times. I will say this: I gave her some somas to show me her tits. And she did. She wanted 50 somas. I gave her 35.”

Sytch short run with ECW lasted just over a year with Sytch departing amidst drug-related incidents and Candido soon following. Her tenure in WCW ended in similar circumstances. Upon her exit in 2000, rumours spread like wildfire that Sytch had passed out after injecting herself with nubane, leaving a syringe in the showers. Sytch denied the accusations. Candido followed her out the door.

“What bothered me is Chris would kind of follow Tammy round like a little puppy dog,” the late Paul Bearer is quoted as saying.

Sytch and Candido spent the next several years on the fringes of professional wrestling, haunted by drug rumours and weight gain, competing on the independent circuit until 2005 when Candido was hired by up-and-coming wrestling company, TNA. His tenure started in January 2005 and ended tragically when Candido sustained an injury in the ring, a broken leg that escalated quickly and tragically. Candido passed away in 2005 four days after the injury due to acute pneumonia. He was 33.

Sytch has rarely talked about Candido in public since. Often delivering short answers to questions about the infamous relationship. One exception is during an interview with RealityCheck TV in late 2005. “It’s been a rough year,” Sytch curtly said. “What happened back in April is probably the worst thing that ever happened to me, but you gotta move on, life goes on.”

And it did.

By 2007, Sytch, now 35 and clean, was back in school, studying Medical Technology and in a relationship with John, a New Jersey cop. It seemed Sytch had finally found peace and stability in her life. A one night return to the WWF (now WWE) took place, her first appearance for the company in nine years and for a four year period, little melodrama surrounded the once controversy magnet. Her good behaviour was rewarded by the WWE in 2011 when she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as the “original WWE Diva.” You just know she loved going in before Sable.

Her legacy cemented, her relationship with the WWE repaired and her body whipped back into what Sytch called “Sunny shape.” It only took a year before things completely spiralled out of control again.

Sytch’s longterm relationship with John ended abruptly and then came the drug and alcohol rumours. It was 1998 all over again. Former ECW wrestler New Jack crawled out of the woodwork to reveal Sytch asked him to “kill” her ex-boyfriend, John. Sytch entered a volatile relationship with Damien Darling, an indy wrestler twelve years her junior. Sytch accused Darling of sexual abuse. Darling accused her of attacking him.

“Tammy was fucking Dolph Ziggler and Davey Richards,” a source who wishes to stay anonymous tells me. “She also had a habit of falling for wrestlers on Facebook that turned out to be frauds pretending to be the wrestlers. She fell in love with a Wade Barrett poser. Sin Bodhi had to break the news to her he was a fraud. She was once best friends with a Michelle McCool fake.”

Sytch went on to be arrested five times within a four-week span, for disorderly conduct, burglary and three counts of violating a protective order Darling had taken out against her. After Sytch was arrested once more for violating the protective order in January 2013, she served a 114 day term in jail and was released in May of 2013. During this timeframe she left the depraved, salacious wrestling industry for a much healthier career as a… webcam girl, sharing Skype sessions with fans where an overweight Sytch would get naked and masturbate for a $100 a pop. In 2015, Sytch was arrested three times for DUI and sentenced to a further 90 days in jail for the crimes. Fortunately for her, the Judge deemed a recent stint in rehab as jail credit and she avoided more time behind bars.

With the exception of another company-sponsored rehab in early 2016 (that cost the company coffers 40k per month!), the WWE has severed all ties with Sytch and she hasn’t worked for the organisation since early 2012.

“The last time the WWE paid me anything was in 2012,” Sytch wrote on Facebook for some reason, “a check for $1000, for an interview I did at Axxess during WM weekend.  Before that it was 2011, a check for $5000, for the HOF weekend that I was inducted. Nothing since then, not even royalties.”

Sunny epitomised the wrestling term “diva” before it even entered the WWE’s lexicon. She was sexy, talented and couldn’t wrestle to save her life. Her groundbreaking presence paved the way and changed the game for women in the WWE, but inadvertently it also contributed to a dark era that focused on looks, not wrestling abilities, an era that’s taken the WWE well over a decade to recover from.

Was Tammy Sytch the manipulative whore the wrestling community paints her to be? Or was she simply lost in an intoxicating industry like so many others? It’s all down to opinion. No one knows for sure. My guess is that Sytch was somewhere in the middle.

Sytch has since left the WWE-sponsored rehab-that-costs-40k-per-month and commenced a career in pornography for Vivid. It’s been reported she has been free of alcohol ever since and in a recent interview she thanked the WWE for their help, calling them “awesome.”

Her autobiography was released in February 2016 and is available at this link. Like a lot of what Tammy Sytch has said and written over the years it remains controversial and widely disputed.

Special thanks and credit to everyone quoted, as well as the countless wells of wrestling information on the Internet. We reached out to Sytch for comment, but she failed to get back to us. We wish her nothing but the best.

Flashback Post: This post originally appeared on The Gossip Life 26/08/16.

About Closeted Gay Footballers…

lscs

Reuters

We here at The Gossip Life have received a lot of emails regarding this subject recently. Most correspondence has been sent from our Gossip Hounds with the odd legitimate source eager to learn, too.

It seems to use that every couple of years a salacious story seems to emerge from the depths of tawdry tabloids that a ‘star Premier League footballer’ is about to take a detour from Narnia to Soho and come out of the closet and admit they’re gay to Mr. Joe Public. It’s a regular feature of the tabloids that we all know and love, and is always known to have the nation engrossed in rife speculation and guessing games.

For example, just in the last couple of days, there’s been a story within the Daily Mail that a ‘married footballer paid off a Transgender glamour model after a fling.’ Guesses have already been aimed on social media, ranging from the key players at top teams like Manchester United to those on the very fringe of the roster of Southampton FC. No one seems to have any inside information, but many have been slandered and accused.

It isn’t the first time either. In 2015, the news story broke in the tabloids that an international footballer and a a Premier League star were soon to announce their true sexuality. Rumours swirled (mostly about Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling) and bookmakers started taking bets, and what happened? Neither of the two anonymous, ‘star Premier League footballers’ ended up coming out.

Why? What happened? What stopped them?

A lot of these titillating headlines are unfortunately based on rumour within the journalism community. Since no one is posting names, there’s no fear of legal repercussions or punishment, and journos feel fine with kindling the fire of supposition and watching the logs burn. The sad part is that, in the rare incidents that there is smoke behind the fire, the footballers see the rampant speculation and fiery reaction, and they get overwhelmed by fear and by publicists, losing the will to leave the closet.

It’s important to remember that in a lot of cases, when someone of a high profile announces they’re gay, their family only discover the news a couple of days beforehand, sometimes on the day of. Outing is an obvious fear and with the fervent desire for gossip, journalists are willing to pay some very desperate friends, family and allies previously unimaginable amounts of cash for an exclusive.

To conclude, I can’t tell you the identifies of the gay footballers from the 2015 story, nor can I tell you the identify of the married footballer that paid off the Transgender model after a fling.

Not right now, anyway.

 

The WWE Failed Chyna and Here’s Why

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WWE

The story has broken  and it is a sad one: WWE / WWF legend, reality star and wrestler Chyna has died tragically at the age of 46 after a suspected overdose. It’s news far too familiar for wrestling fans. Just this year the wrestling world lost another legend (Axl Rotten) to an overdose and there are countless other incidents of former WWE performers perishing far too earlier due to the demons substance abuse. Whilst I agree it isn’t the responsibility of the WWE to baby their former performers and the WWE-sponsored rehab offered to some former performers deserves nothing but praise, I feel they failed Chyna by ostracising and punishing her.

Born as Joanie Laurer in New York in 1969, Chyna suffered a difficult childhood. After her parents divorced when she was four, Chyna experienced a myriad of step-parents (three stepfathers and one stepmother) and different homes. It was during her teenage years that Chyna first claimed to have been the victim of sexual abuse, claiming an older teacher kissed her and then later in her college years claiming to have been raped multiple times.

It is after college and those difficult teenage years, Chyna began to excel. She entered the independent wrestling circuit at the age of 25 and soon garnered a reputation for her size and ability to wrestle against males. Within two years, Chyna was wanted by some of the biggest wrestling federations in the world and after declining a contract offered by the WCW, she signed to the WWE (then WWF) to a contract and debuted as the bodyguard of Hunter Hearst Helmsley better known as Triple H and a member of DeGeneration X alongside Shawn Michaels and X-Pac.

Towards the end of her life, it was clear Chyna was in a very bad way. She’d made several  allegations against former boyfriend, fellow WWE legend Triple HHH of domestic abuse, and against former boyfriend, fellow WWE legend X-Pac of rape. It is widely disputed, but it was the behaviour of an out of control woman fighting back against a company that had privately persecuted her and publicly ignored her.

For those of you who don’t know, Chyna was only in the WWE between 1997-2001, but she made an impact like no other. Her popularity and success soared, scoring much outside attention, and even the WWE themselves have admitted she “left a lasting legacy as the most dominant female competitor of all time.”

And yet Chyna wasn’t ever placed into the WWE Hall of Fame. And yet, unlike the majority of WWE legends, Chyna never reappeared in the WWE again, even for a one off appearance.

The reason for all of this was explained by ex-boyfriend and now WWE Vice President Triple H on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s WWE podcast. After admitting Chyna deserved to be within the Hall of Fame, Triple H alluded to her pornography career as the reason for her absence, saying: “It’s a bit difficult, though, and this is the flipside of the coin — and this is the side nobody looks at — I’ve got an eight-year-old kid, and my eight-year-old kid sees Hall of Fame, and my eight-year-old kid goes on the Internet to look at Chyna. What comes up? And I’m not criticizing anybody. I’m not criticizing lifestyle choices. Everybody has their reasons. I don’t know what they were. I don’t care to know. It’s not a morality thing or anything else. It is just the fact of what it is. That’s a difficult choice.”

It fails to hold weight when you remember just who is in the WWE Hall of Fame. Hulk Hogan, a performer that was caught on camera using racial epithets and having sex. Mike Tyson, a man convicted of rape. Steve Austin, a man arrested and charged for domestic abuse on an ex-wife. I do not think Hogan and Austin should be removed from the Hall of Fame, but I do not think Chyna should be discriminated against for her choices either. The WWE is honouring people on their achievements in wrestling, not their choices outside of it.

Why wasn’t Chyna inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, then? Many reasons have been offered, but the one most parties agree on is Chyna’s relationship with one of the WWE’s top performers and now Vice President, Triple H. Chyna and Triple H lived together and had dated for several years until Triple H allegedly began an affair with Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The affair led to Chyna’s departure from the WWE and it is her rocky relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon that is believed to have prevented her induction.

Chyna wanted to be inducted to the Hall of Fame badly. “I have contacted the WWE several times over the years. They have not responded back,” read one Tweet. Another: “If the WWE was ever to say that I was going to be inducted, either as part of the groundbreaking [sic] DX or as an individual. Well, my answer would be what a friend of mine us to say in the ring, O HELL YEAH!”

Is the WWE and its hierarchy solely to blame for her problems? Absolutely not, but it does have to accept some responsibility. Who knows what the induction could’ve done for her? If the WWE reached out and offered her a legends contract where she could make occasionally appearances? If they’d offered her the WWE-sponsored rehab that they’d offered to so many? It might just have put her back on the right path. To me, the recognition she deserved seems like that’s all she ever wanted, but the WWE refused to put aside the backstage politics to allow it, and that is how I feel the WWE failed Chyna.

A posthumous induction is speculated this morning and Chyna could be placed in the WWE Hall of Fame  as soon as next year or a couple of years from now, but Joannie Laurer, a woman that wanted recognition for her achievements, won’t be alive to see it.