Apparently the rumour mill was right this time.
A day after publishing a report, including photos, alleging an affair between Twilight star Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders, who directed her in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman, Ms. Stewart did what seems almost unthinkable in the celebrity world: She confirmed it and offered a full apology.
(Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know Ms. Stewart, 22, has been in a relationship with her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson, for some time; Mr. Sanders, 41, is married and has two children).
Mr. Sanders also issued an apology, but it’s been far overshadowed by Ms. Stewart’s public statement.
Ms. Stewart’s apology has been seen as a bold (desperate?) move that not only lays bare her indiscretions, but also puts on full public display her desire to be forgiven. While celebrities are forced to issue apologies and respond to controversy all the time, they usually do so in a surgical manner, keeping any public statements sparse and free of emotion.
Ms. Stewart’s statement reads more like a personal e-mail to Mr. Pattinson, admitting: “This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.”
Is this public outpouring of emotion her attempt to convince her long-time boyfriend that she’s truly regretful? The Atlantic, which is calling the apology “radical,” surmises that Ms. Stewart simply may not care what the public makes of it, given her reputation for indifference in the past.
But is there any real advantage to be gained by going public with a sensitive matter like this? Imagine using Facebook or Twitter to make a statement to all of your friends and family that you were sorry for cheating on your partner. Or imagine if you are the person to which a very-public apology is directed.
Sure, it shows some level of effort, and even caring, but as Ms. Stewart may soon find out, it can also do a whole lot of harm. Grand gestures do have a way of softening most peoples’ hearts, but it’s hard to forget that her apology only came once she got caught.
How would you respond to a public apology over a very sensitive matter? Would you ever issue one?