This October 2009 issue of Shape magazine featured singer LeAnn Rimes on the cover. In the last few years, Rimes has been more famous for starting an affair with actor Eddie Cibrian while he was still married than she has for her music. As a result, many readers emailed and sent letters to Shape, complaining that Rimes shouldn’t be “glorified” for her choices and “rewarded” by appearing on the cover of a national magazine (well, a magazine that isn’t a tabloid, I guess). Shape’s Editor In Chief, Valerie Latona sent the following email to people who complained:
Subject: To my dear Shape readers
You are all in good company (why I’m e-mailing you all together) as you all agree Shape has made a terrible mistake in putting LeAnn Rimes on the cover.
Please know that our putting her on the cover was not meant to put a husband-stealer on a pedestal-but to show (through her story) how we all are human. And this woman in particular found strength in exercise in what she said was her most difficult personal moment.
But it did not come across that way … And for that I’m terribly sorry.
I hope that we can do better the next time for those of you that will give us another chance.
Do you think that Rimes should not get to appear on the cover of Shape and other women’s magazines because she had an affair with a married man? Or should we separate stars’ personal lives from their careers?
Looks like Valerie Latona isn’t actually that sorry. She issued the following statement about her reader email:
My comments have been taken out of context. I used the words of the few unhappy readers who wrote in.
I stand by the fact that LeAnn’s story is compelling–and her courage and strength in the face of so much adversity is compelling. That is why I put her on the cover of Shape for what is now the third time.
The fact is a mere 40 readers out of almost 6 million readers wrote in to complain calling LeAnn a “husband stealer” and a “terrible mistake for Shape”. I wrote to those women apologizing that our cover choice did not make them happy—as I have done for other cover stars in the past.