The recent rash of divorces among C-listers from Tori Spelling to Chad Michael Murray may look like the work of a divine, eugenically conscious hand. But West Coast PR insiders insist the timing of the announcements is no miracle. In fact, we hear it was all part of a Rovian anti-publicity blitz meant to bury the bad news in the wake of bigger stories--in this case, RenÃ©e Zellweger's split from Kenny Chesney and the Moore-Kutcher nuptials.
In Spelling's case, sources close to the actress say she had actually been separated from husband Charlie Shanian for over a month--and shacked up with new love and Mind Over Murder co-star Dean McDermott--when her publicist rushed out a release the day after Zellweger's announcement in the hopes of sneaking it past the press. (Incidentally, we hear the marriage had been something of a put-on from the beginning, meant to please Spelling's ailing TV mogul father in his last days; Aaron Spelling, who paid for his daughter's million-dollar wedding, is said to be so "addled" in his 82nd year that her divorce hasn't even registered. A rep for Spelling did not respond to calls or emails for comment.)
In the days after Moore and Kutcher got hitched, reps for D-list-loving comedienne Kathy Griffin and her Z-list husband of four years, Matt Moline, also jumped on the divorce bandwagon, along with star-crossed One Tree Hill spouses Murray and Sophia Bush.
"It's the perfect arrangement for these kinds of marriages," notes a well-known celebrity handler. "Kathy Griffin, Tori Spelling, Jamie-Lynn DiScala nÃ©e Sigler, another recent divorcÃ©e, and Chad Michael Murray all got magazine covers for their weddings--something they never would have gotten otherwise. They want that PR, they just don't want the divorce PR, so they hide it until a time when something bigger is happening, even if it's been in the works for months."