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Trial and Terror

Rosie’s real mistake? Trying to pull a Madonna.

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If lying gives you cancer, does telling the truth make you fat?

Because let’s all agree on one thing: In court last week, Rosie was telling the truth—at least about that Sopranos cover of her now-defunct magazine. Publisher Gruner + Jahr, which wants $100 million from Rosie for pulling out of Rosie (Rosie wants $125 million from G+J for breach of contract), would have us believe that Rosie freaked because a proposed cover showed her in a lesbionic pose with Sopranos stars Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco. Rosie insists that she hated the cover only because it made her look fat.

Okay, sure, Rosie’s sandwiched sapphically between the two (who, let’s face it, are hot-in-a-dykey-sort-of-way straight gals). But the bigger issue is Rosie’s . . . bigness. That cover really did make her look husky. Hefty, even.

Okay, huuuuuge. Tony Soprano woulda taken up less acreage.

Meanwhile, I think Rosie was telling the truth about another thing, too: She was not unduly influenced by Boy George. (G+J maintains that in her desperation to please the aging pop star, who’d called her “suburban,” Rosie turned into an edgy freak show.) If anybody screwed with Rosie’s worldview, it was her ex-bud Madonna.

Never mind G+J’s bone-headed presumption that the Queen of Nice would stay nice once she got into the magazine racket (ha!). Rosie made the fatal mistake of thinking that Middle American housewives actually loved her. They didn’t. They loved the idea of Rosie: sassy, sweet, plus-size gal pal.

The Madonna Effect has led many celebrities to think that they can introduce the New Coke version of themselves and everybody will still buy it. Wrong! That’s worked for Madonna only because she really has been the same old Madonna (core brand value: Self-Promoter).

The New Rosie—a foul-mouthed, angry dyke and demonic manager (who told a cancer-surviving employee that liars get cancer)—was a bait and switch, pure and simple. She sold G+J a bill of goods. G+J, those tone-deaf Germans, bought it.

We should all sue both parties for $200 million for being such total fuck-ups.


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