Scarlett sees red over fake interview

A candid audience with the actress seemed too good to be true. And it was ...

For an A-List actress who never gives interviews about her private life it was, by any standards, a frank and revealing article.

Plastered over the front of Cosmopolitan magazine with a sensational tagline boasting: "Why I HAD to get married!" the four-page feature on Scarlett Johansson revealed an intimate portrait of the actress's recent marriage and her views on romance and monogamy. The only problem, it now appears, is that much of it was fabricated.

Marcel Pariseau, who has been Johansson's publicist for eight years, told The Independent the actress was "absolutely annoyed and upset" by the piece. The quotes, said Mr Pariseau, appeared to be an amalgamation of an interview Johansson gave to American Cosmopolitan in August, quotes lifted from interviews she gave years ago, and newly fabricated comments on her marriage and personal life.

They range from talking about married life ("This is a very beautiful time for me. Getting married is a huge moment in anyone's life and the few months leading up to it were a little crazy. But Ryan and I are in love and we're enjoying evolving our relationship together") to romance ("Ryan has a very romantic side") and meeting the "right person" ("Hey, I've been in situations before where a guy hasn't been in to me. It's either they don't want to commit or put in the effort, or they're too involved in their own thing ...").

Mr Pariseau said he had been told by the magazine that the interview had taken place in August, but said he pointed out to them that she was only married in September so could not have given the quotes attributed to her. "The timeline is inaccurate," he said.

Johansson, said Mr Pariseau, was seeking a retraction from Cosmopolitan, as well as a statement to the press. Lawyers were on stand-by as Johansson considered taking legal action.

He added: "The quotes attributed to Scarlett Johansson regarding her marriage in the UK edition of Cosmopolitan are wholly fabricated. Ms Johansson has at no point granted UK Cosmopolitan an interview, and she has never discussed her personal relationships with the publication ... If you look at profiles over the past years, they [Johansson and her husband, Ryan Reynolds] don't even mention each other.

"In an interview with US Cosmopolitan given prior to her engagement, published in August 2008, Ms Johansson states the following when asked about her relationship: 'I hate feeling like I have to share my personal life with anybody. So I'll take the normal celebrity route and just say I'm going to keep my personal life private.'"

A source suggested that the editorial team at Cosmopolitan were conducting an investigation into the identity of the freelance writer from whom the article was bought. The source said the writer was known as Francesca Williams, who is not given a byline in the feature, but that this is a pseudonym. "What is interesting is that the magazine don't appear to know who the writer is," the source added.

A statement from the magazine reads: "UK Cosmopolitan printed an interview with Scarlett Johansson that included quotes from an agency journalist regarding the actress's marriage. We ran these quotes in good faith ... UK Cosmopolitan is taking the complaints by Ms Johansson's publicist seriously and is investigating the matter further."

Media tell tales: How they were caught

STEPHEN GLASS

The young reporter for The New Republic magazine was caught in May 1998 inventing an article about a 15-year-old computer hacker, and was subsequently found to have fabricated material for 27 of his 41 stories. He created fake notes, voicemails, websites and business cards. "My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies," Glass said. Now 36, he has published a biographical novel, The Fabulist, and completed a law degree. A 2003 film of his downfall, Shattered Glass, starred Hayden Christensen.

JAYSON BLAIR

In 2003, the junior New York Times reporter, then 27, was caught plagiarising and inventing stories. Despite his high error rate, Blair had been promoted, and was only found out after a regional reporter discovered Blair had copied their work. He even filed articles supposedly from elsewhere in the US – while sitting in the office. Two senior Times editors resigned. Blair blamed his drugs problems and bipolar disorder and is now an advocate for mental health issues.

JACK KELLEY

The deceits of the Pulitzer Prize finalist came crashing down in 2004, when it emerged that the "Golden Boy" of USA Today had been deceiving readers since at least 1991. The 43-year-old invented details such as the "dim light of a crescent moon" (not noticeable at that time of day), to vivid first-hand accounts of a terrorist training camp while he was actually staying in an Islamabad hotel. He resigned in 2004.

Georgia Mead

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Web / Digital Analyst - Google Analytics, Omniture

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Sales Perfomance Manager. Marylebone, London

£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Social Media Director (Global) - London Bridge/Southwark

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Social Media Director (Gl...

Personal and Legal Assistant – Media and Entertainment

£28,000 - £31,000: Sauce Recruitment: A Global media business based in West Lo...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests