Actress Rebel Wilson has responded to claims she revealed her relationship with a woman because an Australian newspaper was going to “out” her.
Wilson announced last Friday on Instagram that she was dating fashion designer Ramona Agruma, which was met with an overwhelmingly positive response.
“I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince … but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess,” Wilson wrote.
On Saturday, Andrew Hornery, who thinks the Private Sydney column in the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote that Wilson “opted to gazump” his scoop about the relationship.
“In a perfect world, “outing” same-sex celebrity relationships should be a redundant concept in 2022. Love is love, right?”
“As Rebel Wilson knows, we do not live in a perfect world.
“So, it was with an abundance of caution and respect that this media outlet emailed Rebel Wilson’s representatives on Thursday morning, giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with LA leisure wear designer Ramona Agruma, before publishing a single word.
“Big mistake. Wilson opted to gazump the story, posting about her new ‘Disney Princess’ on Instagram early Friday morning, the same platform she had previously used to brag about her handsome ex-boyfriend, wealthy American beer baron Jacob Busch…
“Considering how bitterly Wilson had complained about poor journalism standards when she successfully sued Woman’s Day for defamation, her choice to ignore our discreet, genuine and honest queries was, in our view, underwhelming.”
Hornery and the Sydney Morning Herald were met with a wave of criticism on social media for forcing Wilson’s hand in revealing her same-sex relationship, particularly during Pride Month.
BBC reporter Megha Mohan wrote on Twitter: “I’ve just read this @smh piece 3 times to make sure that I wasn’t misreading. The publication messaged Rebel Wilson saying they would out her in 2 days — and is now complaining that she thing to announce her relationship with a woman herself. Quite astonishing.”
Mohan’s tweet alone has so far attracted more than 156,000 likes and 20,000 retweets.
Actor Matt Lucas, Wilson’s former flatmate and Bridesmaids co-star, tweeted: “Coming out is often a long, scary process, with many beats. Self-realisation, telling friends & family, a first relationship. I thought the press forcing people to out themselves, regardless of whether or not they were ready, was a thing of the past. I must have been mistaken.”
Network 10 journalist Kate Doak tweeted: “So apparently it wasn’t @RebelWilson’s choice to come out… The @smh/@theage have admitted to giving her a heads up 2 days in advance that they were going to “out” her What’s worse, openly gay men at the Sydney Morning Herald were involved in this.”
In response to Doak’s tweet, Wilson wrote on Sunday night: “Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace.”
Prior to Wilson’s tweet, Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields wrote in an online editorial that “to say that the Herald ‘outed’ Wilson is wrong”.
“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.
“Wilson made the decision to publicly disclose her new partner — who had been a feature of her social media accounts for months.
“Private Sydney is a column in which the writer’s interaction with his subjects is often part of the story.
“Saturday’s piece followed that theme in giving readers insights into our interaction with Wilson and her PR team. This was not a standard news story.
“We wish Wilson and Agruma well.”
The ABC has contacted Horny for comment.
Shields directed the ABC to his editorial published on Sunday when contacted for comment on Wilson’s statement.