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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Management Accountant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for a independently owne...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Management Accountant

£17 - £20 per hour: Sauce Recruitment: Working for a independently owned and c...

Guru Careers: Mac Operator / Artworker

£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Mac Operator / Artworker to ...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore