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Following Claims Rebel Wilson Was Pressured Into Revealing Girlfriend By News Outlet, The Editor Attempted To Clear Things Up

Rebel Wilson in Senior Year
(Image credit: Netflix)

Over the weekend we learned that actress Rebel Wilson was in a brand new relationship with designer Ramona Agruma. On its own that’s a piece of information that might not be all that important to people that do not know Rebel Wilson personally or happen to be serious fans of Pitch Perfect. However, the news has become a big deal because an Australian newspaper has been accused of attempting to “out” Wilson, and now the paper is responding to those claims.

The details of Rebel Wilson’s new relationship came directly from Wilson on Instagram, but that initial post was apparently spurred by the fact that the Sydney Morning Herald had the information about the relationship and was planning to publish it. Now the paper’s editor, Beven Shields, has posted a response to the claims that the publication was planning to “out” Rebel Wilson. He claims that’s not the case, saying…

Our weekly Private Sydney celebrity column last week asked Wilson if she wished to comment about her new partner. We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man. To say that the Herald “outed” Wilson is wrong.

It may be true that the paper would have asked the same questions in the same way, regardless of the parties involved. But because of the particular circumstance, perhaps it’s the way this was presented to Rebel Wilson that it was taken very differently. In the end if caused Wilson to reveal the news herself when she might not have done so otherwise, and at the very least the paper did not take that possibility into account.

Much of the backlash against the paper came when it was reported that Rebel Wilson was given a deadline to respond before the story about her and Ramona Agruma would be published, The editor claims this was normal, and that the paper simply asked questions and then waited for a response. In addition, at that point no decision had been made regarding publication. The statement continues…

Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. I had made no decision about whether or what to publish, and the Herald’s decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.

The initial column reporting on Rebel Wilson in the Herald has since been taken down and Andrew Hornery, the author of the column has published an apology, admitting he made a mistake, and promising to learn from that mistake. 

There’s certainly a bit of damage control going on here. There have been instances in the past where celebrities have essentially been forced to reveal things about their own personal lives prior to the media doing it, in an attempt to better control the story. It does appear that happened here, but in this case the Australian paper at least claims this was not intentional. 

The explanation may be enough for some, likely not for others. Fans are clearly supporting Rebel Wilson, and are seemingly happy that she is happy. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.