The Daily Mail, a UK paper with an extensive gossip section, is revisiting the scandals of Charlotte Rampling. A new biography is in the works, written by an old friend. Previously supportive of the biography, Rampling is reportedly spending a great deal of money trying to block a certain portion from being published. The Daily Mail desperately wants to know why. I admit, I’m curious. Celebrities rarely interest me, though sex scandals a bit more so, yet I’m also interested in what a woman famous for scandals and nervous breakdowns wants to hide. I’m also curious why the public thinks it has any right to know.
Charlotte Rampling is an older actress whose sexual life often overshadows her career. This stems largely from the crossover: she’s largely famous for appearing as a masochist submissive of a former Nazi in the film “The Night Porter”. Ramping is known for being candid about her private life, without fear of the scandals that followed her.
She was rejected by Hollywood’s star machine and left in England to develop her fame on a smaller, more personal level, allowing her some freedoms that mass-produced celebrities are advised against pursuing.
Shortly after Rampling and her first husband, Bryan Southcombe, had their first child, another young man, a model named Randall Laurence, moved into their apartment with them. Rampling told a reporter that she loved them both. The Press eagerly jumped on her words and widely published stories of her menage a trois. The Daily Mail reported that the Pope spoke out against her, though it’s hard to verify.
She later told columnist Earl Wilson, "There are so many misunderstandings in life. I once caused a scandal by saying I lived with two men [...] I didn't mean it in a sexual sense [...] We were just like any people sharing an apartment."
She personally told Peter Evans, the writer of “The Daily Mail” article, “'I've never had any trouble attracting publicity. True, false, half-true, it sort of follows me around like a cheap perfume, which men often find exciting.” These denials are brilliant “spin”. They make her appear victimized. The story followed her after her denials, allowing her to put forth a mysterious, sexy front for those looking for one, but a contrite, embarrassed smile for accusers. Essentially, she captured all the fame of a sex scandal without consequence.
Joshua Gamson evaluated Hugh Grant’s rebound from a prostitute scandal as a manufacturing process. About Grant’s public apology, Gamson quoted a nameless “New York Times” editor: “A great success. He stayed in character.” Rampling’s character has always been frank, supposedly open about most of her life and quite vocal about what was not in bounds. It’s no wonder she needs to manipulate her image, and knows how to do so. She discovered her second husband’s unfaithfulness through reading the tabloids!
Gamson wrote “What is revealed in sex scandal discourse is not simply societal norms--sexual or other, institution-specific, or not--but also the institutional operations and relations of news media.” Rampling is currently battling a new scandal: having already survived being reprimanded by the Pope for her polyamorous household, the media cannot figure out what else she could possibly hide. So "The Daily Mail" published an entire article about a speculative sin.