Threat Level Tree
The Friday Post.
Hello! Are you in the mood for a ridiculous but maybe also delightful gift guide? Find Hung Up’s here.
I suspect the honorable Tree Paine, which devoted Hung Up readers will recall is a frequent (and favorite) subject of this newsletter, got a little too high off hearing “America Has A Problem” at the London premiere of Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé. Soon after the premiere, Taylor Swift’s publicist decided Deuxmoi has a problem.
On her Instagram, Deuxmoi repeated a claim she’s made for a few years now: Taylor Swift and her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn had a secret, not-legally binding marriage ceremony. The ceremony, Duex claimed, happened in “either 2020 or 2021 in the UK and it was described to me as a 'marriage' by more than one person.” She continued: “I have no reason to lie, I could give a shit what [Taylor Swift] does!!!!! I’m sorry she didn’t tell you guys about it in a song but just because she doesn’t sing about something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!!!” I would argue that Deuxmoi has maybe several reasons to lie — two million, to be exact — but I digress.
“Enough is enough with these fabricated lies about Taylor from Deuxmoi,” Paine posted on Twitter. “There was NEVER a marriage or ceremony of ANY kind. This is an insane thing to post. It’s time for you to be held accountable for the pain and trauma you cause with posts like these.”
The “pain and trauma” from a marriage rumor? Hmm. There is something to the intensity of Paine’s reaction, along with the way Swift’s multi-hyphenate podcaster/football boyfriend has been going on a press tour around their new relationship. A friend told me recently that they had to sign an NDA (for any Swift-related information) when interviewing someone who just performed on tour with Swift; that Kelce is allowed to speak so candidly doesn’t seem like an accident.
Deuxmoi’s reply was as incomprehensible as the rest of her posts. (Likely way for her to reply.) “Well I make zero dollars from lying.. can publicists say the same,” Deuxmoi posted Thursday evening. “Also, to relate something that is in reference to something that happened years ago to ‘pain & trauma’ after what just happened seems like a poor choice of words.” Even a seasoned high school freshman sentence diagrammer has her work cut out for her with that sentence. It took me twenty reads to see that she’s referencing the Eras concert death of Brazilian fan Ana Clara Benevides Machado.
It brings me no satisfaction to even vaguely agree with Deuxmoi, who I fully believe is an idiot, but this does seem like, unintentionally or not, a distraction from the fact that there are still many questions around Benevides Machado’s death that have not been answered yet. (The concert’s organizers are currently under investigation in Brazil.) Those answers don’t all have to come from Swift, but what an odd time to address a rumor Deuxmoi has been spreading for quite a while now. Swift is at the center of so many legitamite media stories, even positive ones — but it’s a professional poster (derogatory) that Tree’s Eye of Sauron has chosen to address?
This whole thing is a little bit like the Spider-Man meme: two media manipulators engaged in battle for attention. Except one is some random girl, and the other is Tree Paine, whose desk has been crossed by nothing she can’t fouetté/piqué/piroette/barrel roll/any other spin you can think of.
In the Tree Paine biopic, this is part of a brief montage. And, as always, Amy Adams will win an Oscar for the Tree Paine biopic and not one single second before.
Some Personal News
I’m on the Forbes 30 under 30 media list! When I called my grandma to tell her she said: “I’m gonna tell the church. I’m not just gonna tell my church, I’m gonna tell every church!” (This is a real quote, not a made-up Ruthkanda Forever quote, I swear.)
A brief catalog of recent happenings
George Santos, the embattled Only Fans subscriber, Hermes shopper, former drag queen/former telemarketer/serial secret keeper, subject of a 23-count federal indictment, and U.S. representative for New York's 3rd congressional district, was expelled from the House on Friday. "Why would I want to stay here?” Santos replied when asked if he would still stay and use nonmember privileges, per CNN. “To hell with this place.”
Linda Yaccarino, the Twitter CEO (in name only, quite obviously) and permanent fixture in my mind after her hilariously incompetent interview at something called the Code Conference, was the subject of a scathing Kim Masters story in The Hollywood Reporter. And this was before Elon Musk said companies that have pulled their ads from X could “go fuck themselves.”
A few quotes from her ex-NBCU colleagues: “You had to not only send her an email but copy other people [because] even though she had it, she would deny it.” … “I don’t think she has the skill set to be CEO. She can’t do a simple mission statement. She’s not transparent. She doesn’t have the facts at hand. She doesn’t create a positive culture. She takes pushback personally.” … “Her ego was as big as the building in which we worked.” Amazing. (And, per THR’s reporting, she’s a Trumper.)
Felicity Huffman didn’t mean to get roped into the college admissions scandal Operation Varsity Blues, she said in an interview this week. Per Variety: “It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future. And so it was sort of like my daughter’s future, which meant I had to break the law.”
“They came into my home,” Huffman continued. “They woke my daughters up at gunpoint. Again, nothing new to the black and brown community. Then they put my hands behind my back and handcuffed me and I asked if I could get dressed. I thought it was a hoax. I literally turned to one of the FBI people, in a flak jacket and a gun, and I went, ‘Is this a joke?’” A joke, actually, is “Again, nothing new to the black and brown community.” Again, nothing new to the black and brown community. Now why are we in it? Wisteria growing in her brain, I promise you.
And finally: I have lost count of how many times Brendan Fallis has posted or reposted that viral tour of his blood-curdling apartment. But in the latest repost, his caption concludes with “More about our home coming soon…” A threat!
A Word on Wonka
I am big enough to admit that I might have misjudged Wonka when I watched the original bananas trailer. A lot of things about Wonka started to make sense when I realized Olivia Colman was in this movie. Putting on a funny suit and singing about sweets is a small price to pay for witnessing her genius up close. I get it now!!!
I have never liked chocolate and don’t really have a sweet tooth, but the chance to work with Olivia Colman … here we go mama, indeed!
Other Items of Note
Truly Humble Under God — Meghann Cuniff and her bob once again untouchable on the celeb trial beat. “[Pushing P] means any circumstance you’re in, if you think positively about something, you can make it work. You’re pushing positivity. You’re pushing P,” Young Thug’s attorney told jurors in his Atlanta RICO tria, per Cuniff’s recent report. Thug, mind you, stands for “Truly Humble Under God,” per that same attorney. (Legal Affairs and Trials with Meghann Cuniff)
Julianna Margulies really says “the blacks” with a hard r, huh? (Some random podcast)
Rosalía and Jeremy Allen White are doing it (interlacing their feet like this) (Us Weekly)
A review of The Curse that I think is spot-on: “‘The Curse’ Review: Nathan Fielder Reinvents the Haunted House Genre” (Dread Central)
Two truly great headlines on stories that couldn’t be more opposite: “A Third Elvis Is Coming to Your Screen in 2024” (Vulture) and “Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies” (Rolling Stone)
I’ll leave you with this:
The hands touching. Art!
That’s all this week! I’m gonna go watch May December for the first (and second and third and probably fourth and fifth) time. Have a good weekend!