Dear philanderers, and philanderees,
I think it’s important that you know that I don’t care whom you’re screwing. I don’t care if it’s your wife, your two girlfriends, your three boyfriends, or all of the above. I don’t care if you’re a professional golfer or the president or my neighbor. That is, and will always remain, between you and your partner. Maybe you have an arrangement; or maybe you’re a cheating liar. In any case, I don’t know, and I don’t need to know.
If I hear about it, it’s fair to assume you don’t have an ethical arrangement and are a cheating liar (or a lying cheater—your choice) because only scandal makes the news. And I might think, “Jeez, what an entitled jackass” about you, and “bummer” on behalf of your spouse, but that’s the end of it. I don’t need a public apology, or a public statement that vaguely sort of apologizes for vague transgressions, when really the only thing you’re sorry for is getting caught. I don’t need a police report. I don’t need details or photos. I don’t believe, like some seem to, that because you’re a public figure, I have a right to know. People don’t have a right to know your personal business, and even if you agree with that, but go ahead and make a big public half-statement anyway, you just encourage those who wrongly think they do. I have a right to know about cheating that’s going on in my marriage; everybody else’s marriage is their business and their problem. The correct answer to questions about it is “It’s none of your damn business,” and that only if you just can’t keep silent about it, which would be preferable. People will talk; people like gossip, but you’re under no obligation to accommodate them, and you shouldn’t. Frankly, by the time people are talking about you, you’ve got more than enough problems to focus on, and you should look to them.
If you’re going to sneak around and cheat on your partner, you should assume that you will get caught eventually. If you’re famous, you should expect that to happen sooner rather than later. You’ve got multiple folks thinking they’re your true love, and when they find out that’s not the case, chances are better than average that they’re going to be enraged and looking for their pound of flesh. If you’re famous, they’ll also be looking for a payday. That sucks for you, but only if you’re determined to screw around. In which case, there’s not a lot of sympathy to be mustered up for you, I’m afraid.
You probably shouldn’t be surprised that random women who are willing to hook up with a married man who is looking to hook up, without consideration of your wife and kids by either of you, are also willing (and likely) to hoard your e-mails, voicemails, and text messages against the day when they need insurance, cash, and/or their 15 minutes of fame, although being the Other Woman is rarely a positive career step guaranteed to pay off in the future. (Anybody know what Monica Lewinsky’s up to these days? I thought not.) I would make this a blanket statement for both sexes, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard a woman hold a press conference to brag apologize for her extramarital activities. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it, as a matter of fact. Maybe they’re more discreet.
If you are someone who has been hoarding evidence of your affair with a famous person, you probably already know you’re an opportunistic parasite, rather than a simple soul overcome by the romance of the moment, no matter how much your newly hired lawyer presses the latter case. But in case you didn’t—clue phone! It’s for you! You don’t have to thank me. Don’t make it worse by announcing yourself to the press. And don’t make it terrible by categorically denying it on Tuesday and ‘fessing up on Wednesday. It just makes you look stupid. And being a stupid parasite is really no way to go through life.