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CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF JON AND KATE: Reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin have been featured on the cover of Us Weekly for seven consecutive weeks, and unless Britney Spears gets pregnant or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie break up, it appears the troubled couple won’t be bumped anytime soon. The first five covers, sources say, have averaged newsstand sales of between 900,000 and 1.1 million. The Audit Bureau of Circulations has not reported total first half figures yet for 2009, but during the second half of 2008, the magazine averaged 796,669 copies on the newsstand.
Meanwhile, May turned out to be usmagazine.com’s biggest month of all time, with 25.5 million visits and 12 million uniques, according to Google Analytics. “To our 12 million readers, the Gosselin story is a perfect storm of what happens when you combine reality TV, procreation mania and a couple whose bad judgment is more relatable to the average person than anything about Brad and Angelina,” said editor in chief Janice Min.
This story first appeared in the June 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Amy Wicks
FAMILY FEUD: The Bettencourt family saga continues to rock the French press. Thursday’s edition of Libération newspaper carried a rare front-page picture of Liliane Bettencourt, the 86-year-old daughter of L’Oréal’s founder, who’s locked in a feud with her daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. (As reported, Bettencourt Meyers had lodged a complaint for “exploitation of weakness” with the public prosecutors office of Nanterre, a Paris suburb, in December 2007, following Bettencourt giving photographer François-Marie Banier gifts of almost 1 billion euros, or $1.4 billion at current exchange, in the form of financial investments and artwork.) The Liberation headline read “Révelations sur l’affaire Bettencourt” (or “Revelations on the Bettencourt affair”). The inside stories, running on pages 2 to 4, included specifics on what Bettencourt gave Banier and when — including donations of 250 million euros, or $349.4 million, in 2003 and in 2006, and donations of 56 million euros, or $78.3 million, in 2005 — plus testimonies from people close to Bettencourt. Olivier Metzner, Bettencourt Meyer’s lawyer, reached Thursday, confirmed Bettencourt has refused the court’s request to submit to an evaluation by doctors. So the next step would be to take the case to court. Bettencourt’s lawyer could not be reached for comment Thursday, nor could anyone from the prosecutor’s office.
— Jennifer Weil
FANMANGO: Scarlett Johansson, the new face of Mango’s fall women’s ad campaign, now has a male counterpart — Max Irons, the son of British actor Jeremy, who lent his looks to the ad images for HE Homini Emerito, Mango’s men’s wear line.
The young actor takes over from Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, son of French Vogue editor in chief Corine Roitfeld, who posed for spring’s campaign alongside his sister Julia. Before Mango, Irons appeared in Burberry’s spring 2007 campaign, shot by Mario Testino, with Kate Moss. The Mango images break worldwide in July.
Speaking of golden offsprings, the campaign’s lensman was Francesco Carrozzini, son of Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani. He shot Irons swathed in beefy outerwear against a white backdrop in a Barcelona studio. Irons recently took to the stage in London, where he performed in “Wellenstein,” a thriller by Friedrich von Schiller, and earlier filmed “Dorian Gray” alongside Colin Firth. The HE collection is carried in 117 Mango stores in 17 countries. There are men’s-only Mango stores in Ankara, Barcelona, Dubai, Madrid and Valencia.
— Chiara Hughes