Jewish World Review May 1, 2002 /19 Iyar, 5762
Minnelli marriage enters Day 47,
Icky Showbiz Union In Danger of Losing "Sham" Status
As Liza Minnelli's marriage to Broadway producer David Gest enters its forty-seventh
day, experts are now warning that it could drag on well into the summer, thus
jeopardizing its status as a "sham" showbiz union.
This is a critical issue, says Dr. Irvin Coleman of the University of Minnesota,
because "sham" marriages carry with them many benefits that normal, or so-called
"real" marriages do not.
"A sham marriage is characterized by a lavish, celebrity-studded wedding,
overheated tabloid coverage, and a much-needed shot in the arm for an otherwise
flagging show business career," Dr. Coleman says.
"A real marriage, on the other hand, is marked by disputes over bills, who took out
the garbage last, and who is going to take the kids to soccer practice next," Dr.
Coleman adds. "For this reason, showbiz personalities generally avoid real
marriages whenever possible."
The real cost of a "sham" marriage - namely, rampant speculation about the
sexuality of one or both partners -- is relatively small in light of the advantages such
a union confers, Dr. Coleman says.
If the Minnelli-Gest marriage were to lose its "sham" status, Dr. Coleman says, it
would still have the distinction of being the ickiest current showbiz marriage,
eclipsing the almost-as-gross Madonna-Guy Ritchie pairing.
But that distinction will be tenuous at best, Dr. Coleman warns, when actress
Pamela Anderson and rapper Kid Rock march down the aisle, as has been
JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz