I’ve heard a rumour that celebrities pay people to make up rumours about them.
Sometimes they’re very specific about what the rumour is. Sometimes the timing happens to co-inside with the launch of their lipstick range. Often the rumour is plausible enough that the prying public takes notice. These are the rumours that cause the best kind of commotion.
Yet, the rumours I enjoy the most are about the rumours we don’t hear. The stories that are more likely true, the ones the celebrities desperately want to dead and buried. If the price is right, they can pay anything to make a story vanish.
The problem with rumours is that someone always knows the truth. No matter how much you pay, it doesn’t make the story any less true. It doesn’t mean your tormented reality isn’t any less bearable.
Do you believe every rumour you hear? Even if the source is credible? Even with the proof?
I know a rumour about one of Melbourne’s ‘It’ girls. And I’m still trying to work out how true it is.
The ‘It’ Girl Rumour
“Can you believe she is on the cover?”
“Who?” Olivia asked me like I possessed psychic abilities.
Olivia, my honest yet gossip-mongering friend, thrust the cover of ‘Dame’ magazine in front of me. She pointed at the tanned girl on the glossy exterior. She was contorting her body, wearing only a white singlet and booty shorts. Someone had airbrushed abdominal definition to her exposed stomach.
“Oh, Lillian Lopez. Yeah, she’s on the front cover of everything now.”
As she opened the publication, Olivia scoffed. “Lillian Lomez. I remember when she was Lily Gunderson. Frizzy hair and not a single brain cell to speak of.”
Now, Lillian’s hair was far from frizzy, but I couldn’t speak for her brain cells. Her social climbing, her ability to market herself, it would seem she wasn’t as simple as we remembered her.
“Do you think she knows?” Olivia whispered, dropping her eyes low.
“We’re in your kitchen. On the fourth floor of a double-walled apartment block. I can’t hear the people talking in the next room. I don’t think she’s going to hear you through the magazine pages.”
“But do you? Do you think she knows what her husband did?” I shook my head.
If Lillian Lopez knew what we knew, she would call her divorce lawyer.
The Rumour Before The Rumour (aka The Start Of The ‘It’ Girl)
I went to school with Lillian for the best part of high school. She was polite, associated with the cool crowd, and was always at the best parties. The rumours started with her leaving school. Olivia told me Lillian almost failed her final year exams and was lucky to pass. According to my friends, she didn’t receive any university offers.
Being cool didn’t seem to pay off, says the rumours.
It was a few years later, as soon as we all forgot about the cool kids at school, Lillian resurfaced. Suddenly, her name was everywhere.
Lillian started dating Andy Lomez, the Olympic swimmer turned celebrity fitness influencer. He was ‘the bachelor’ before they turned it into a television show. Girls lined up to meet him, date him, and do whatever it took to become his permanent lover.
But, the women in Andy’s life didn’t always last long. A night, the weekend depending on the social occasion. So when Lillian arrived on the scene and lasted longer than a few hours, the media took notice. The girl to tame the bachelor it would seem.
A rumour circulated that she was sleeping with him. This was a rumour we believed. A second rumour circulated that he had moved her into his South Yarra penthouse. A rumour we struggled to believe. Luckily for Lillian, they were both true.
As soon as she unpacked her last box, the world knew they were an official item. Olivia thinks Lillian called the press herself and told them her new address. Again, another unqualified rumour.
Despite who released the news, all eyes were upon her. What she wore. Who she socialised with. Where she dined. The press had an obsession with their relationship.
That was when her name stopped being Lily and became Lillian. That’s also when she received the makeover of a lifetime. She had stylists of the stars tweak every inch of her body. She was the new Melbourne ‘It’ girl, and there wasn’t one of her former schoolmates that weren’t jealous. Though we never admitted it.
The Second Rumour Was Much Worse
The press spotted Lillian wearing a magnificent diamond engagement ring for months when the second rumour began. As her engagement became widespread, so was the topic of ‘Cora’.
I was at lunch with Anne, my other straight shooter friend, and Olivia. And all we could talk about was the rumour of all rumours.
“Do you remember Cora? She was in our grade.”
Cora was beautiful and eloquent, and the valedictorian of our year. She wasn’t someone who became hung up on gossip. She was intelligent and enjoyable to speak to. “Oh yes. I was at her birthday drinks last year.”
Anne pursed her lips. “Well, there is word going around that Cora was with someone’s fiance the other night. Someone very famous, someone who would be very unhappy if she heard the news. You know the someone I’m talking about.”
“You’re kidding me,” screeched Olivia. She gulped her cocktail and ordered another. “Tell me she slept with Lillian’s fiance.”
Anne nodded whilst struggling to contain her smirk. “Someone spotted her leaving Andy’s hotel room, with him, after three in the morning. This was last Saturday. Where Lillian was is anyone’s guess.”
After a pitcher of mojitos, Olivia described the red lace underwear Cora left behind. Apparently, Andy keeps them at the bottom of his cupboard as a memento. More rumours.
Is It A Rumour If ‘No One’ Is Talking About It?
It would seem we were the only ones who knew. The few girls who shared Lillian’s adolescence. The rumour of his affair didn’t circulate through the conventional press. Not a mention.
The magazines that followed her around didn’t pay attention to Cora, Andy or the hotel room. It was like they didn’t want to know. Which was strange for the press, because usually, it was all they wanted to know.
It started me wondering how true the rumour was. If the press weren’t talking about it, surely someone made it up, right?
The only thing was we were talking about it. Every girl I went to school with knew the story. We were spreading it like wildfire. Anyone willing to listen heard the story, every sordid detail.
We spoke about the rumours like they are facts. And through other rumours, Cora confirmed the tryst. And her missing underwear.
How True Is True?
Do I believe the rumour about Melbourne’s ‘It’ girl and her wayward fiance, turned husband and baby daddy? Well, there are always three sides to every story. His point of view. Her point of view. And what really happened. The truth. The unbiased facts. The evidence.
With Lillian’s rumours, I’m always inclined to believe them. They never seemed far-fetched, or unbelievable. When rumours end up being true, as most of her’s have, it’s impossible not to think every other is true too.
But the problem with rumours is the questions that become entangled with the truth. The people questioning the veracity of the story.
What if they had a threesome, and Cora’s underwear is actually at the bottom of Lillian’s wardrobe? What if the timeline was wrong, and he was single at the time? What if Lillian’s knows all about it and didn’t care? What if, what if, what if?
It’s always the ‘what if’ that ensures a rumour stays a rumour. And as long as we keep saying what if, we will never know for sure.
The only people who will be able to say it definitely happened is Cora and Andy. Yet, they will never tell. This rumour is too damaging to be true.
It’s best left as a rumour. At least that’s what Lillian wishes.
Well, that’s the rumour.
I’m Ellen McRae, writer by trade and passionate storyteller by nature. I write about figuring about love and relationships by analysing my experiences. Some of the stories are altered to protect the people in my life. But my feelings are never compromised.
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