What We Can Learn From Anthony Weiner and Blake Lively: Denial Backfires
They both took naked photos, then denied (or still are denying) that they were of them. But, would the truth have set them free?
Celebrities: they never learn. About how many naked cell phone photo scandals have there been recently? Rihanna, Jessica Alba, Brett Favre, Chris Brown, Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus and plenty more have made the mistake of trying to be sexy by posing nude and snapping a pic, then acting surprised when it spread all over the Internet. That’s why no one was really surprised when Rep. Anthony Weiner and Blake Lively were added to that list last week.
Like those before them, both Weiner and Lively used that old and played-out method: deny, deny, deny. Weiner claimed his Twitter account had been “hacked,” while Lively’s rep assured the photos were Photoshopped and “100 percent fake.”
Do they think we’re all stupid, blind, or unaware of the fact that celebrities do this all the time? In Wiener’s case, his obvious dodging of straightforward questions like, “Is that your penis in the photo?” was wildly laughable.
As one of my guy friend’s comically said, “If there was an ‘Encyclopedia of Penises,’ featuring thousands of photos of different men’s packages, I would be able to flip through them all and easily pick out mine.” In other words, Weiner was obviously being a big, fat, lying weiner and could’ve just said, “Psshh no, that’s not my member in that photo.”
In Blake Lively’s case, once her rep came out with her statement denying the legitimacy of the nude photos, the hacker then released even more photos he had in his possession. These supposedly feature Blake clothed with her face in the frame, apparently taken on the same iPhone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who has that much skill in Photoshop to fake those.
When there’s evidence that you are denying the truth, no matter who you are or what the circumstance, people will be merciless until you cave and confess. Weiner, who became headline news, was bombarded with questions and ridiculed without end on late night TV. Lively, who attended the MTV Movie Awards this weekend, became the butt of almost every joke. Even American sweetheart Reese Witherspoon took a dig at her to prove a point.
With that much pressure and humiliation, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out.
In an embarrassing press conference, Weiner finally admitted Monday that he took the photo as a joke, and when he realized he posted it to Twitter, “I panicked, I took it down, and said that I had been hacked… At the end of the day, I lied because I was embarrassed. This isn’t anyone else’s fault… This was me. I did it. And I take responsibility for it.”
Lively, we can assume, will follow suit. Or, watch how the lawsuit her rep has threatened mysteriously fizzles out.
We as a society value honesty, truth, and responsibility for one’s actions, and we feel betrayed when we find out we’ve been lied to or mislead. Had Weiner and Lively taken the road of honesty from the start, perhaps they wouldn’t be in such terrible positions as they are now.
Weiner, who is refusing to resign, will now lose countless supporters simply because he was dishonest and is now yet another politician who cannot be trusted. Lively will continue to look foolish for living a lie in Hollywood, where everyone and their agent has had a scandal blow up in their face.
Everyone, famous or not, has a secret they don’t want to get out. Heck, most of us are even guilty of the same crime: taking scandalous photos of ourselves on our phones. But, it’s how you handle the situation when your secret is revealed (or those photos get out) that speaks volumes about your character… and is the part people will remember most.
Tell us: Do you think these scandals would’ve blown over if Weiner and Lively had been honest from the start?
Faye Brennan is senior editor at BettyConfidential.