The de-press!

I was recently lambasted by the press (surprise, surprise!) or more aptly – the de-press! I was disheartened by the tone of the article, and surprised by the fact that it impacted me so deeply. After all these years of being in and out of the public eye, you would think that I might have developed a tougher skin. Instead of being able to shrug it off, a sort of paralysis came over me, as if I had been trapped and cocooned in a spider web, leaving me incapable of knowing how, and if, I should respond – until now – a month later. I guess I was waiting for my sense of humor to infiltrate my perspective – but it was dragging its heals!

My normal modus operandi would be not to respond to any creepy articles about me. Instead I would walk around for days, licking my wounds, avoiding places I might be recognized – depending on how visible the article had been, and how defamatory – all the while, endlessly mulling over all the twisted facts, in an imaginary rebuttal with the journalist, trying to set the truth straight. It is a pointless exercise and doesn’t resolve anything. And then I lose interest and move on with my life. Obviously, the best recourse is to take the high road, and not to make any comment at all. But I am not in the mood for stoicism. I have a blog, and I can comment to my heart’s desire!

 

The reason I felt so hurt was because I felt blindsided. The interviewer, Cindy Adams for the NY Post, came across as one of the friendliest reporters I had ever spoken to. She had written about me over the past 30 years, and had always been fair – as far as I could remember.

She had contacted me out of the blue to write an article about me. I was flattered. She had heard that I had a film coming out. I let her know that it had been postponed, so perhaps she should wait to interview me. She decided to slant the article about the film that Casper and I wrote about my grandfather. She sounded so encouraging and warm, “Maybe I can help you get your film financed!” What a great lady! I thought. Ha ha!

When I read her article, my heart sank. It was so mean spirited and full of misinformation. I looked like a complete train wreck.

Granted, I have done my fair share of silly things – much of it magnified under the lens of public scrutiny – definitely running my train off the tracks from time to time – but she had taken every angle and spun it into ugliness. Rifling through my past, regurgitating events – mostly inaccurate – from as far back as 15 years ago, that had nothing to do with my present life.

After a fairly comprehensive interview with her on the phone, the only quote she attributed to me wasn’t even anything I said! It was a glib remark about my marriage to Bob Evans – that was made by my father, may he rest in peace, over 14 years ago!

She commented that Casper had left me, and then came back because we had children – which was news to me!

I wondered why she felt she had the right to fabricate and re-write my life to suit her sensationalistic appetites.

She made awful derogatory remarks about the film that I hadn’t shot yet, and ridiculed me for not being able to raise money for my film.

I want you to know, Ms Adams, that getting a film financed is NOT that easy!

I think I wouldn’t have minded as much if she hadn’t wound me up so successfully in the first place – But she seemed so genuinely nice.

I wondered what had happened to this woman that had turned her into such a cynical, vindictive person. Who knows? I only wish I hadn’t crossed paths with her ire.

The truth is that what this woman wrote about me really has little to do with me – it has more to do with her and how she perceives the world through the lens of her own life experience. The unfortunate part is that she has access to a platform that has the power to alter the way other people perceive me.

Although she spoke to me under the guise of helping my film, if there had been a potential investor who had read her article, they would probably have shied away from contacting me after reading what she wrote!

Being interviewed is such a vulnerable experience. You share yourself with a complete stranger, imagining that they have your best interest at heart. But, why should they care? In fact, it is naïve of me to think that they should.

I think I will not do any more interviews unless I can approve them before they go to print. Why open myself up, to be made a mockery of? What a waste of my precious time! 

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anine
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 05:11:16

    Hi Catherine, it is Woman’s Day in South Africa today and we are enjoying a public holiday :) . So happy Woman’s Day to you too!

    I am the one who sent you a tweet to ask about your next blog, you promised to hurry and two days later, I am reading it!! Thank you for keeping your promise – so sorry that it meant writing about something that has hurt you in the way you have described.

    I cannot imagine how it must feel to read such lies about yourself. I personally HATE being lied to so having someone spread vicious lies and fabricate stories in order to become a more popular journalist or sell more magazines or newspapers must make you feel sick to your stomach. That is how they sell their stories. Having a happy marriage and family life is not juicy news. So keep your head high! I hope she learns from her decision.

    I think you are lovely and I am sending you a huge HUG from Pretoria, South Africa!!

    Love, Anine

    Reply

  2. Roxy
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 07:27:03

    Catherine you are a beautiful person, you have always been. Your fans love and support you. No one cares about a mean-spirited journalist, who’s trying to get famous through bashing a famous celeb. There’s so much backlash against reporters who use cunning ways to get their stories nowadays,a lot of the public can see through this. If villainizing another person is the only way to get a story published in a well known newspaper these days, then the people behind it, obviously lead sad sad lives. I pity them. You are classy and sophisticated. Can’t say the same about the trashy celebrities they have running around their own backyard;) The way you live your life now, is testament enough of the type of person you’ve become. Wishing you lots of success and happiness. Roxy (yet another South African fan) :D

    Reply

  3. Souriswingette
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 12:46:28

    I will write in French it’s easier for me to express an opinion (I’m always afraid when I write in English it’s the opposite of what I think).

    Vu nos âges respectifs et l’expérience accumulée, nous avons toujours l’impression que nous n’allons plus nous faire “avoir” par les gens.. Mais voilà! nous sommes des personnes sensibles et croyons à la nature humaine.. Donc quand nous sommes trahies, nous nous endurcissons… enfin, jusqu’à la prochaine fois ! Certains diront que c’est de la naïveté, moi je dis que nous sommes simplement humaines (dans le bon sens du terme).
    C’est difficile de changer sa nature intrinsèque et pourquoi changer après tout ?
    Pour devenir quel genre de personne ?
    Je finirais par cette citation : “La peur n’évite pas le danger,.. ”

    Bonne chance pour trouver des investisseurs pour ton film.

    Laetitia
    @Souriswingette

    Reply

  4. Roxy
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 12:52:53

    Catherine you are a beautiful person, you have always been. Your fans love and support you. No one cares about a mean-spirited journalist, who’s trying to get famous through bashing a famous celeb. There’s so much backlash against reporters who use cunning ways to get their stories nowadays,a lot of the public can see through this. If villainizing another person is the only way to get a story published in a well known newspaper these days, then the people behind it, obviously lead sad sad lives.I pity them. You are classy and sophisticated.The way you live your life now, is testament enough of the type of person you’ve become. Wishing you lots of success and happiness. Roxy (yet another South African fan) :D

    Reply

  5. NonMom: Everything BUT the Kid!
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 15:14:16

    What a wonderfully open and honest and well-said post.
    I may not be a celebrity but I recently had an awful, horrid and sickening experience through social media (I honestly actually lost 4 lbs in 3 days over the stress of it which doesn’t sound like a lot but I felt it believe me) and I did in fact stay offline for a bit and ‘hide out’. It was a strategy that I think worked in my situation but it amazed me how the facts got so skewed so quickly and in such bizarre ways. It was awful.
    It was my first and I hope only, awful experience online and with ‘fame’ and I commend you for being as tough as you obviously are. It was beyond hard for me to not react and I’m just a gal from Toronto, for you and your hubby, I don’t envy that situation and the fact that that ‘journalist’ did that is repulsive.
    I thoroughly enjoy your blog and wish you well and happier interviews.
    Good for you to take the high road :)

    Reply

  6. Harley Jane
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 15:23:49

    Oh, Catherine. I am so sorry and I’m really (somewhat uncharacteristically) MAD! I now have to track down that article and see if I can comment. In your shoes, I’d do just what you’re doing — the well-lived life is truly the best revenge.

    Reply

  7. Stormie
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 15:29:24

    Good Morning, 1st I am so sorry about the situation. One can never trust the media–no what what they say you can always expect 2 things: The info you give to them will never be as you stated and it’s all about the money. It’s a shame that the media has to resort to these low life, back stabbing standards. These days morals are a thing of the past and I don’t see any changes in the near future. You just have to consider the source and let it roll off like water on a new shiny car. Family, Friends and most Fans know what a kind and gentle soul you are and speaking for myself, I only believe half of what I see or nothing that I read unless it comes straight from the horses mouth. Please don’t let them upset you, then they win. As always you and the Family are in my prayers and a great big warm and fuzzy Hug from me to you. You are a Princess in every way, so chin up, walk with the head high, chest out and ignore (as best you can) her. Have a great day.
    Thanks for all the hard work you in all the thing you do for Family, Friends and Fans

    Stormie

    Reply

  8. Harley
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 18:06:24

    Catherine, I just read it and I don’t think you need to worry. This woman is not Dostoevsky. She’s not Christiane Amanpour. She’s not even Rex Reed. She’s such a lightweight, even her most devoted readers (whomever they may be) are not reading for accuracy or enlightenment. The main thing is, she leads with the fact that you’re “beautiful and talented” and that’s all anyone’s going to remember from this article — oh! And that you’re in an upcoming movie about Greek Gods.

    I once had one of my books dissed by the NY Times and I got many congratulatory responses from friends — at a glance, everyone figured the review was positive. There’s something to be said for an illiterate society!

    Reply

  9. safi smith (@safismith)
    Aug 10, 2012 @ 00:38:58

    The Great Nelson Mandela said – A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special. After reading your blogs and tweets I’d say this describes you perfectly. I cannot say the same for Ms Adams; she is a trash pedler
    (I refuse to give her respect by referring to her as a journalist) and not worthy of your time. Nor is the rubbish she writes worth the felling of a tree to print it on. She lacks every quality and talent you have.

    Reply

  10. Grace Caitlin
    Aug 10, 2012 @ 20:23:00

    Catherine, I appreciate you speaking up, expressing your boundaries and sharing your experience. I know what courage it takes to reveal your inner world and as your ally, I applaud you for taking the time to do this. I also love your healthy anger at people so boldly misrepresenting themselves and then turning around and misrepresenting you. Yuck! I happen to have the privelge of knowing how much integrity and self awareness you live from and welcome your voice out in the world more. Grace

    Reply

  11. Jeri Cotton
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 06:43:04

    Hello just read your blog and it just goes to show just when you think some people are truly genuine they turn out to be just the reverse for their own success. I know how you feel I was ripped off by a conman agent.

    Reply

  12. Marsha
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 07:07:37

    If you don’t have anything nice to say? Say nothing at all. What a wicked witch she is.

    Reply

  13. Mike
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 19:43:35

    Hello, Catherine – my friends and I watched you as Amanda back in the “Dynasty” days and have good-naturedly overexaggerted her in imitation ever since. I even finally got my partner into it! LOL

    But what I really wanted to say here that I can very much relate to how you must have felt when that women lambasted you in her article. I’ve been through this a couple of times in the press with the musical I wrote the book and lyrics for. Both reviewers were inexperienced and had biases with other theatres, but I let the opinion of one – that I was a “bad writer” – stay with me. I think you’re right that these folks publish these things out of whatever issues they have without thinking how it affects the people they’re writing about (much less their bottom line). I also know what you mean about personalizing these unkindnesses. I suppose that’s our call, isn’t it, to buy into such “destructive criticism” or not…though knowing that intellectually doesn’t make it easier to not buy into it, does it? All by way of saying I do have some idea of what you’re talking about.

    Ultimately, it’s up to us whether or not we believe what someone else writes or says about us. But I’m sure, you, like I, would have liked to pull an Alexis with these so-called members of the press by smacking them and saying “You little bitch!” :)

    Reply

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