Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

March 27, 2014

Paltrow's 'conscious uncoupling' confounds many

(Continued)

Not surprisingly, though, the reference evoked some snark, in Hollywood and across the pond in Britain, where the couple is also based.

"What deluded tosh," headlined a column in The Guardian, using slang for rubbish, or nonsense. (Tosh perhaps, but the phrase actually made it to the House of Lords, Britain's upper chamber of Parliament, where a Labour Party lawmaker referred to a political disagreement over university fees on Wednesday as "yet another example of the coalition's conscious uncoupling.")

Others, though, were touched by the message — while noting how expertly it was managed from a public relations standpoint, with the news released late on a Tuesday, after the celebrity weeklies had all closed their issues.

"It was very smart," said Min, who is also former editor of US Weekly. "By next week, there will be other news, and they probably won't be on the cover at all." And the fact that the couple made the statement on Paltrow's website gave them, of course, message control.

On the other hand, Min said, "I was touched — it really felt sincere. And it gave us more information than you normally get in these situations — revealing they'd been separated for a while. There was a sincerity here that you rarely see."

Also, Paltrow and Martin, the Coldplay frontman, have two children — Apple, 9, and Moses, 7 — so they have a strong reason to control the message. "No child wants to see news of their parents' breakup on the supermarket shelf," Min noted. "It's clear they love their children."

Longtime Hollywood public relations expert Howard Bragman agreed, applauding the couple for their honesty and civility.

"Listen, I've been involved in a LOT of Hollywood divorces, and I have to say, this is refreshing," said Bragman, who is vice chairman of reputation.com. "You can roll your eyes at the purportedly New Age language, but the broader message is, 'We're gonna do this together.' I give them a lot of credit."

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