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Gwyneth Paltrow on being labelled 'most hated' celebrity: 'What did I do?'

Paltrow is one of the least scandal-ridden high profile figures yet one of the most heavily critiqued. In an interview with the BBC, Paltrow questions why her remarks can prove so divisive 

Heather Saul
Friday 01 July 2016 15:44 BST

Being a celebrity requires a very thick skin now more than ever in a world dominated by often scathing, increasingly unforgiving social media, a fact Gwyneth Paltrow knows all too well.

She is an Oscar-winning actor with a career in film spanning 25 years and latterly a successful business woman whose closest call to a 'scandal' was naming a child after a piece of fruit, yet Paltrow continues to be a prime target of derision.

Paltrow was widely ridiculed for announcing her split from Chris Martin on Goop as “conscious uncoupling”. While the phrase was unusual, the maturity they have maintained and the friendship they have nurtured since splitting should arguably be considered an achievement and example for any parents to follow.

The unorthodox health advice she dishes out and the ‘aspirational’ direction of her lifestyle website Goop have been used by some to perpetuate the notion she is privileged and therefore out of touch.

In 2013, a tabloid magazine went so far as to declare her the “most hated” celebrity. In a conversation with BBC HARDTalk. Paltrow addressed her well-established ability to rub up the public and media, dispelling suggestions she had launched her career with a financial cushion provided by her wealthy parents.

“First of all I was like, ‘I’m the most hated celebrity?’ More than, like, Chris Brown? What did I do? All I can do is be my authentic self, but I think there are things about me that make people draw conclusions. For example, there is the perception that I grew up very wealthy and that I was given, you know, that I was sort of raised with a silver spoon in my mouth, which inspires a lot of resentment.

“He [my father] said, ‘You are completely on your own. So he never gave me anything. I never had any supplementation, he never helped me with my rent, I never had a trust fund. So the idea that I am spoiled or that I didn’t work for what I have, that’s just not accurate. But I can see how somebody might have that perception.”

At the centre of critique is Goop's output with some posts proving more controversial than others, particularly those delving into health and bodily functions. One product that raised eyebrows more recently came from the sex issue in a list of Goop’s “favourite” toys: a 24-karat dildo costing $15,000 (£10,300).

But Paltrow, inevitably aware of the sharp criticism and resentment built by the inclusion of highly priced non-essentials, has revealed the website has its own fun occasionally in response - the gold dildo being a case in point.

“We have a bit of fun now and affiliate link to a $15,000 gold dildo just to troll people back.

“We look for products that will create that reaction.”

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