Recently, I have been troubled by a decision that was pressed upon me. A couple of people I have been working with strongly advised me to sell my story to The Sun, a paper that has not been fair with me since my fall out with Simon. I write about them in my book and how as journalists they failed in the pursuit of the truth. The argument put to me was that it was better to have them on your side than against you, and building a bridge would benefit my career in the future. This went against my conscience and the cynic in me never believed that they would ever support me, not while Cowell was still so powerful.
Reluctantly, I agreed to sell a story to The Sun so not to appear "bitter". This was a label put upon when I started to speak out about the show as a form or propaganda to get the masses to ignore my argument. "Ad hominem" short for argumentum ad hominem, means responding to arguments by attacking a person's character, rather than to the content of their arguments. I had suffered 10 years of abuse by the media but now my book is out it the game changes.
I warned that you couldn't trust The Sun especially as they get panned in the book. I said, 'Don't be surprised if they waste our time all week only to pull out of the deal at the time they are due to run the story."
It came as no surprise but with a little disappointment that nothing has changed and I was right. The Sun contacted us to say they wouldn't be running the story as they "had too much X Factor related stories" this weekend. The irony was that they were running the same old X Factor stories that I discussed in my book. The two that they ran were slamming Stevi Richie and Jay James, whereas my story was opening up a serious topic regarding abuse of power.
- an incident that happened in Simon dressings room
- I had shared personal information about my past
- Sharon Osbourne outbursts in rehearsal
The Sun was still trying to keep interest in the TV show as opposed to trying to uncover the truth about it. This isn't news this is marketing. After last week's fiasco with Paul Akister going out to Jay James, this week Jay James went out to Stevi Richie. Paul was branded a complainer, Jay has been branded a bully and Stevi is getting a sleazy reputation. After much manipulation and character assassinations of others, Stereo Kicks and Only The Young are still going despite awful earlier performances. All the stories were designed to generate interest in the brand whilst protecting the brand from any negativity.
When i had to pose with the paper during X Factor I felt I had to. All the contestants were there for a photo shoot and I felt I couldn't speak out about Kelvin Mackenzie and "The Truth" headline. After all, I was on a tv talent show not Newsnight. The "cheeky chappie" label and nice things they were saying about me leading up to my win obviously helped me. It's not too dissimilar to Ben Haenow's public relationship with Simon Cowell. 10 years on and with Cowell back in the UK after the USA version flopped (yes that was a dig - come on, it's never mentioned!), some might believe he is trying to rework that winning formula with a more manageable winner so that a Max Clifford type won't be required.
I had said from the beginning that Fleur was the chosen one for the label with Ben Haenow as the other being pushed forward and I've seen nothing that changes my mind. But there is no point shouting fix, the public have known for years what the show is about.
Without wanting to sound self-righteous, my book touches upon some serious subjects and is written with the intention to enlighten people of injustice and bring a little hope to those who have suffered abuse and depression. It has more of a public interest than Stevi Richie and who he is trying to bed at the moment, that's for sure.
Obviously, as much of the injustice in the book involved tabloid press I can't expect them all to be excited by this publication and so far, The Sun has been very quiet. One minute they wanted to buy the story, the next they are not saying a word about it. I have my suspicions, but as one troll on twitter said "Maybe it's because you are saying things we already know?"
This was the kind of line Max Clifford came out with after The News Of The World pulled my story back in 2005 - those who have read the book, even close friends, have learned some things that explain a lot.
The Sun did find space to run a story about Wagner releasing a Christmas single. Again, once you've read the book you'll appreciate how bizarre this all is.
So there you have it, another example of The Sun ignoring something I have done that could be seen as good but always ready to highlight something negative when they get the chance. The book explains all this and where it all began.
As much as I would like to mend burnt bridges it's not me who needs to change my position with The Sun - it is them who need to prove they have changed - and so far they haven't.
I have just learned that thanks to social media and regional radio "Getting Over The X" is #9 in Amazon (Kindle) Best Sellers ranking for Entertainers Biographies. A big thank you for the support.
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