Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald has decided to apologize after a storm of outrage on social media accused the newspaper of pressuring actress Rebel Wilson to reveal her affair with a woman.
Social columnist Andrew Hornery admitted embarrassment at his newspaper’s approach to trying to exclusively reveal that Wilson, who had until then only known relationships with men, had an affair with designer Ramona Agroma.
SMH, which is often considered one of Australia’s leading newspapers, gave the actress two days on Thursday to speak about this hitherto little known relationship to the general public.
But Wilson, who was revealed in the “Pitch Perfect” saga, went ahead and announced her relationship on Instagram on Friday, posting a selfie with an Agruma referring to her as a “Disney Princess.”
“Fatal mistake. Wilson chose to blow up the article, posting about his new “Disney Princess” on Instagram early Friday morning,” Mr. Hornery said in his weekly column on Saturday, revealing that he intended to give the scoop.
The article sparked outrage on social media. Several LGBT activists and other netizens accused the newspaper of forcing Wilson out.
The Herald initially denied any pressure on Mrs. Wilson, its editor Bevan Shields asserting that the journalist “only asked questions, the same questions he would have asked if Wilson’s new companion were a man”.
On Sunday, Ms Wilson responded to a journalist disgruntled on Twitter by SMH’s position.
“It was a very difficult situation, but I tried to handle it gracefully,” the actress wrote on Twitter.
On Monday, the Sydney Morning Herald removed the article from its website and published Hornery’s apology to the actress. The journalist asserts that his questions were “never intended to threaten her” to reveal her sexuality.
“We sincerely regret that Rebel found it difficult,” says the columnist. “It was never my intention.” He admits that the newspaper “mismanaged the steps of our operation”.
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