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!