An Australian newspaper has denied outing actress Rebel Wilson as it faces outcry over its reporting on her new relationship.
The Bridesmaids star shared a photo of herself with Ramona Agruma on Instagram saying: “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess #loveislove.”
But in a story published by the Sydney Morning Herald, columnist Andrew Hornery described how Wilson had supposedly “ignored” their requests for comment about the relationship earlier that week and instead revealed her own news herself.
While Wilson has not addressed the newspaper story directly, she tweeted: “It was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace” on Sunday in an apparent reference to the row.”
Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields meanwhile has denied that the paper “outed” her.
He said: “Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. I had made no decision about whether or what to publish, and the Herald’s decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.”
His denial that the paper forced Wilson to come out follows two columns by Mr Hornery in which he sought to explain how the paper acted “with an abundance of caution and respect”.
It included a complaint that Wilson had elected to “gazump” them and reveal her own news herself.
He wrote: “Considering how bitterly Wilson had complained about poor journalism standards when she successfully sued Woman’s Day for defamation, her choice to ignore our discreet, genuine and honest queries was, in our view, underwhelming.
“Of course, who anyone dates is their business, but Wilson happily fed such prurient interest when she had a hunky boyfriend on her arm.”
LGBT rights charity Stonewall criticised the publication: “Coming out is a deeply personal decision.
“Whether, when and how to come out should be decided by the individual, entirely on their terms.
“It is simply not OK to ‘out’ LGBTQ+ people or put pressure on us to come out.
“Media outlets should take care not to sensationalise LGBTQ+ lives and relationships.”