The LeAnn Rimes cheating scandal is not a raging fire, but it simmers. The editor-in-chief of Shape, Valerie Latona, apologized to readers who expressed concerns that Rimes was featured on the October 2010 cover despite the fact that Rimes admitted to adultery, as reported at Too Fab. It was a “terrible mistake” Latona told readers.
But it didn’t end there. LeAnn Rimes found out about the apology. “Just so all my fans know, I’m getting to the bottom of this. It’s the first I’ve heard of this. Shape is throwing me a party next week as a thank you and a congrats for being on their cover for the 3rd time. I find this very contradictory. I love you all!!” tweeted Rimes.
In response, Latona issued a statement to “set the record straight” at Shape.
LeAnn Rimes cheated on Dean Sheremet with Eddie Cibrian who she now lives with. Rimes is best known for her award winning album Blue. Eddie Cibrian is an actor who co-starred with Rimes in Northern Lights and who was married with children when Rimes entered his life. The incident put LeAnn Rimes in the homewrecker category.
Why did Valerie Latona bother apologizing to 40 readers out of 6 million?
LeAnn Rimes appears on the cover of the October issue of Shape standing in water, her blonde hair casual. She wears a red bikini. For an issue of Shape, LeAnn is clearly in shape. The quote by her name reads, “How Working Out Saved Me.” About working out, LeAnn says, “It gave me a bit of sanity. Even now, on days when I’m really frustrated, I’ll walk into the gym and say to my trainer, ‘We’re boxing today. For an hour. I need to hit things.'”
The point of featuring LeAnn Rimes, as asserted by the editor-in-chief, was to show that exercise is one way to help you get through a tough period. However, 40 of Shape‘s readers didn’t see it that way. Latona issued this apology to the 40 readers:
“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.
It was such a “terrible mistake,” why the damage control?
In the midst of the LeAnn Rimes cheating scandal, Shape‘s editor-in-chief issued a personal apology to 40 out of the 6 million readers who “expressed concern” about seeing Rimes on the cover of the October 2010 issue. “I don’t want anyone to be unhappy-so I took the time to write a personal note to them, apologizing for not having someone on the cover they wanted to see and hoping to do right by them the next time. (I do this many times for all cover stars and you really can’t ever please everyone all the time.) I also explained why I put LeAnn on the cover: for being human, admitting to mistakes, and finding the courage and strength to overcome criticism through exercise.
Latona claims she should have proofread her letter first. “In that e-mail, I referred to words readers used (“a husband stealer”, “a terrible mistake for SHAPE”) in their letters to me-and then those words were then mistakenly attributed to me,” says Latona. The bottom line, Latona asserts, is that she is behind the decision to feature Rimes.
Should editors issue apologies to readers as a matter of practice or just stand by their decisions?
Not every person who is aware of LeAnn Rimes’ cheating scandal would be offended by the cover photo and the content inside, especially since Rimes has acknowledged what she did, has apologized and is trying to move on. In addition, only 40 readers out of 6 million expressed concern. Is this important? Is it a good practice for editors to focus on a group of people who are offended or take the position that some are offended, most are not, and that’s okay?
A similar situation of appeasing readers exists with the current controversy over at Marie Claire. When a blogger writes an article offending a group of people, the blogger apologizes, but the editor of the magazine has not apologized and, in addition, the article remains, despite the over 2,000 comments below the article and the over 28,000 emails the magazine has received. However, one counterpoint article appears and more are scheduled to appear, according to the editor.
The question also exists, in the midst of the LeAnn Rimes cheating scandal, would Shape‘s editor-in-chief had posted the “setting the record straight” at Shape, explaining her actions, if Rimes had not found it?
Valerie Latona, Setting the Record Straight on LeAnn Rimes, Shape
LeAnn Rimes at Twitter
LeAnn’s Cover: “A Terrible Mistake”, Too Fab
Jolie du Pre, Maura Kelly’s ‘Fatties’ Blog Post Receives a Counterpoint from Lesley Kinzel, Associated Content
Jolie du Pre, LeAnn Rimes’ Affair Explained by the Ex-America’s Sweetheart, Associated Content