Rebel Wilson (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images)
Rebel Wilson has spoken out after an Australian newspaper admitted it tried to get her to comment on her new relationship before she had publicly come out.
Last week, the Hollywood star announced she was in a same-sex relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma, writing on Instagram: “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince … but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess.”
In a subsequent piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, journalist Andrew Hornery revealed the paper had known about Rebel’s new relationship and had gone to her representatives for comment with what they described as “abundance of caution and respect”, and gave her two days to respond “before publishing a single word”.
Rebel then announced the relationship on her Instagram page, with the journalist bemoaning the actor’s decision to “ignore our discreet, genuine and honest queries”, calling it “underwhelming”.
Hornery then wrote: “This is understood to be Wilson’s first same-sex relationship, at age 42 and in an era when same-sex marriage is legal in many parts of the world and – thanks to decades of battling for equality – sexual orientation is no longer something to be hidden, even in Hollywood.
“Up to now, Wilson had identified publicly as a heterosexual woman. It is unlikely she would have experienced the sort of discrimination let alone homophobia – subconscious or overt – that sadly still affects so many gay, lesbian and non-hetero people.”
The publication subsequently came in for swathes of criticism on social media over its conduct and the position it had put Rebel in, and Hornery’s subsequent article.
So apparently it wasn't @RebelWilson's choice to come out... The @smh/@theage have admitted to giving her a heads up 2 days in advance that they were going to "out" her. What's worse, openly gay men at the Sydney Morning Herald were involved in this. 🤦🏼♀️ https://t.co/Zl80zg01SW
— Kate Doak (@katedoak) June 11, 2022
I’ve just read this @smh piece 3 times to make sure that I wasn’t misreading. The publication messaged Rebel Wilson saying they would out her in 2 days - and is now complaining that she chose to announce her relationship with a woman herself. Quite astonishing. pic.twitter.com/qiPZkYFmka
— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) June 11, 2022
i am so beyond disgusted at this. turns out rebel wilson only came out to avoid being forcefully outed and now that newspaper is pissed at her for ruining their scoop?? so they wrote this mess?? i am so angry and so sorry for rebel, no one deserves this. pic.twitter.com/PTnTqzr9VI
— theresa 🌈 (@sapphoslibrary) June 11, 2022
Reading the news about @RebelWilson and her horrible dealings with an Australian paper reminds me exactly of the situation with our Steo and the sun newspaper in the UK. How can this be possible today ? Rebel I hope you are ok and you have the strength and love to rise above. X
— Ronan Keating (@ronanofficial) June 11, 2022
The whole Rebel Wilson thing has illustrated how far we have to go on LGBTQIA+ equality.
Like, why do people even need to ‘out’ themselves anymore. Our sexuality is not a gender reveal party. @smh takes us 10 steps back to the 80s. It’s embarrassing.
— Wazza from Melbourne (@Melbourne_says) June 11, 2022
Rebel has since now addressed the situation as she replied to a tweet deriding the Sydney Morning Herald’s conduct, calling the position she was put in “very hard”.
“Thanks for your comments,” she tweeted on Sunday. “It was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace.”
Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace 💗
— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) June 12, 2022
Her tweet came as the Sydney Morning Herald editor issued a statement after “reading feedback closely” to “offer the Herald’s view on this issue”.
A Herald article about Rebel Wilson has promoted some attention and I’ve been reading this feedback closely. In the interests of transparency I wanted to offer the Herald’s view on this issue. https://t.co/Dk3qkuiovb
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) June 12, 2022
Bevan Shields wrote: “Our weekly Private Sydney celebrity column last week asked Wilson if she wished to comment about her new partner. We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man. To say that the Herald ‘outed’ Wilson is wrong.
“Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. I had made no decision about whether or what to publish, and the Herald’s decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.
“Wilson made the decision to publicly disclose her new partner - who had been a feature of her social media accounts for months.
“Private Sydney is a column in which the writer’s interaction with his subjects is often part of the story. Saturday’s piece followed that theme in giving readers insights into our interaction with Wilson and her PR team. This was not a standard news story.”
Help and support:
London Lesbian & Gay switchboard (LLGS) is a free confidential support & information helpline for LGBT communities throughout the UK | 0300 330 0630
Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is a free support, information and referral service for the Manchester and North-West area | 0161 235 8000
Stonewall for more information on other LGBT services and helplines | 08000 502020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.