Bring Back Gay Blackmail!
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me last night (maybe because no one has ever successfully blackmailed me), but with a start this morning I realized that I had forgotten about the blackmail angle of gay marriage.
I don’t want to get into an extended discussion of the ethics of “outing” here — because I think it’s a lot of crap. (Nobody’s goddamn business what you do except those who do it with you.)
However, extortion by means of legal process adds a whole new dimension to the analysis — and it is something that Hollywood types would do well to keep in mind.
Scenario: big-shot closeted gay star of a leading daytime soap picks up hustler on Santa Monica Boulevard. Smelling money, the hustler decides to go to a lawyer with a trumped-up, bogus palimony story. Even though he has no case, the lawyer takes it anyway because of the certain publicity — and because he knows that the star will pay off big time to hush it up. Blackmail is nothing new, but a new legal framework inviting it is another matter.
In fact, in the old days, a hustler threatening to expose his client would have been properly called a blackmailer, and could have been arrested for it. Today, he’d get his fifteen minutes of fame in the tabloids, and the payoff would be called “an undisclosed settlement.”
This bit of old history is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are too many hungry lawyers as it is.
Why feed them?