Move over, Angelina Jolie. Your reputation as Hollywood’s No 1 home wrecker has just been stolen by a sulky slip of a girl with split ends and smudged mascara.
A girl who always looks like she needs a good, hot bath. A girl who has made it her business for much of her celebrity-soaked years to always, always appear miserable and sullen in public. At least now Kristen Stewart has a good reason for her trademark glums. The question is, will she ever smile again?
The Twilight actress, who is also the girlfriend of her heartthrob co-star Robert Pattinson, has been caught cheating with a married English film director almost twice her age. Last week, the 22-year-old was captured on camera in the arms of Rupert Sanders, a 41-year-old father-of-two, who is married to the British-born model and actress Liberty Ross.
Even by the shady standards of Hollywood, their relationship seems completely astounding. Could there be an unlikelier or more doomed couple; these silly and selfish people with so much to lose?
Stewart and Sanders were photographed having a good old snog in a car parked behind a deserted building in Hollywood. Then they walked about with their arms around each other, kissing some more. Get a room, the pair of you! If only they had, they might not have been caught grope-handed, like a pair of hormonal teens grappling behind the bike sheds when they thought no one was looking.
The resulting pictures, published in US Weekly magazine, were so incontrovertibly damning, so indisputably the real, blush-making deal, that both parties immediately capitulated and admitted guilt.
Grovelling public statements were issued as they separately tried to paper over the canyons of treachery that suddenly opened up, for all to see, in their hitherto well-ordered lives. The primary message was how devastated they each felt. Of course they were! Devastated to be caught.
You could hear the screep, screep of tiny violins as Kristen proclaimed herself to be “deeply sorry” about her “momentary indiscretion” that had “jeopardised the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry”.
Funny way of showing respect, don’t you think? No wonder Pattinson is said to be heartbroken and has slipped from public view.
For his part, Sanders said he was “utterly distraught” about the pain he has caused his “beautiful wife and heavenly children” whom he “loves with all [his] heart” and prays they “can get through this together”.
Good luck with that. But why did the lovers make these buttock-clenching confessions so public in the first place? Even a cursory glance through their pleas for forgiveness feels shaming; as if we have all been dragged into a particularly fruity domestic dispute.
Indeed, why apologise to us at all? Unless it is your career you are trying to save. Surely naughty Sanders and Stewart should reserve their contrition for those who most need an explanation? That is to say, the cuckolded boyfriend and the shocked wife, both so humiliated in this sordid affairette.
Of course, such public self-flagellations have little to do with romance. They are the product of a Hollywood publicity machine determined to protect the mighty £1.3 billion Twilight film franchise, not to mention the reputations of the highest-earning actress in Hollywood and an upcoming producer.
And, anyway, such outpourings are entirely untypical of Stewart, one of those po-faced stars for whom celebrity is a curse and who insists on ultimate privacy at all times. For years, she would never even admit that she was dating Pattinson, and refused to be photographed with him.
Yet when it suits, here she is: not just letting it all hang out, but practically inviting us all to rummage in her emotional knicker drawer. I’d rather not, thanks all the same.
Stewart and Sanders got to know each other last year when he directed her in the lead role in his first major Hollywood film, Snow White And The Huntsman. He also cast poor Liberty Ross in the film - as Kristen Stewart’s mother. To wifely insult add wifely injury - no wonder it is Miss Ross most of us feel sorry for.
The Sanders family had relocated to Hollywood because of his career. He had already been signed up to direct the sequel, everything was going great. Then, boom. Sanders was canoodling with Snow White.
Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to the lawyers we go. Some husbands are just born clots.
Married director seduces starlet is nothing new, yet in time-honoured tradition it is Stewart who will ultimately be seen as the guiltier party.
Unfair, but cavorting with married men is very much disapproved of by the cinema-going public. Look at Jolie, who became embroiled with Brad Pitt when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston.
To redeem her reputation, she had to adopt a dozen starving orphans, do that funny thing with her leg to give us all a good laugh and become nothing less than a self-styled global ambassador for world peace. Stewart has a hard act to follow.
As a Hollywood vet who has been appearing in films since she was a child, Stewart is no innocent who is more sinned against than sinning. It seems more likely that she is just a selfish starlet who put her own needs first, and did not realise what she had to lose until she lost it.
She chose the man she fleetingly liked the best, not the better man. And she might still have to pay a heavy price for that.