Spin Doctoring At Its Best
I usually stay away from celebrity gossip, but this week, I came across something that screamed bad PR. Yesterday, popular actor, Ryan Phillipe hired and fired a popular LA publicist after one day. Phillipe, hired Michael Sitrick to help with media questions about his recent split with Reese Witherspoon. The couple who had been married for seven years and had two children together, announced their separation and eventually divorce last week.
By hiring Sitrick, Phillipe was most likely trying to avoid the media suicide that usually comes with a celebrity divorce. (He was probably having nightmares about the recent Brad and Jen fiasco.) Unfortunately, Phillipe chose a publicist who apparently doesn't know anything about good PR. Sitrick's company fabricated a story, saying it was an exclusive interview with Phillipe and sold it to InTouch magazine. In the story, Phillipe was quoted as saying, "I'm not jealous of her (Witherspoon), that's so far from the truth. She's someone who's very talented and works hard. I've done well, too-that was never an issue." He was also quoted as saying, "This is the hardest time of my life -- I miss my family."
Phillipe fired Sitrick within hours of the story coming out. Page Six of the NY Post reported on teh story, saying that not only was the quote fake, but the "exclusive interview" that InTouch received had already been promised to People magazine.
Sitrick clearly ignored both the rules of PR and his client. He lied, he cheated, and made promises he couldn't keep to People magazine and his client. He's also been called a flacke and a spin doctor. Representatives from InTouch are upset, Phillipe is livid, and People magazine is upset that they were promised an "exclusive" and never received it.
Instead of making the transition into single life easier for Phillipe, Sitrick has aggrandanized the situation, speaking poorly to the whole industry. Hopefully, Phillipe will hire a new agent, who is more concerned with his client than the money he can get for "exclusive interviews."