"Comment is cheap, fact is priceless"
It sounds like a slogan for MasterCard but is in actual fact a live by rule for Journalists.
Though people would like to say that they live by this rule, a life of good, researched fact containing no errors and slander-it's the sad truth that the best kind of chat is the kind that starts with something along the lines of; "Oh did you hear Amy Winehouse caught her beehive alight last night?". Journalists are all to aware of this fact, hence the sudden influx and rapid sales of magazines like Heat and OK!. It's the kind of chat that's easy small talk. It offers people the chance to laugh, to offer an easy opinion, to mock and then to spin their chair around and tell their neighbour. It's lighthearted and fun, and more importantly, carefully avoids any kind of defamation or slander. The kind that a record producer could use as an argument never to work with Winehouse again or that would have her fans deserting her for lack of decent hair control. To be honest, there isn't a lot to be said that could ruin someones career in such a way that these celebrities don't do themselves, but the law of defamation is just another way to make it sound like we have society under control more than we do.
Of course defamation doesn't solely apply to celebrities, it also applies to the common law abiding person. The average hard working citizen who could suffer business closure for a vicious and untrue rumor, or public humiliation for something they didn't do.
When it comes down to it there will always be a victim on the tail end of good gossip.
No one wants to be that person but everybody likes to talk.
It's the same circumstance on a wider scale when it comes to papers and magazines. The best and most widely spread stories are the ones that include humiliation or contain a shock. Defamation and celebrities often end in a suing case when they can. In my opinion, this is the worst kind of conclusion. Gossip is well known for it's fleeting behavior. You may be a good talking point one morning and by the afternoon someone else has been printed about that knocks you out of the park. Suing and the act of going to court for it serves merely to bring about more attention and prolong the story, as opposed to letting it run it's course.
Here is a list of just some of the doubtless many defamation cases against celebrities.
In the world of Hollywood, sometimes any press is good press.