By: Marc SpitzFred Durst did not have sex with Britney Spears. I know he’s lying,because I had sex with Britney Spears–and she’s got a Brazilianbikini wax, not a savage garden as Durst described to Howard Stern(as well as millions of radio listeners) this past winter. AndSpears is not into doing it doggie-style as Stern hoped. She’s downwith fur-lined handcuffs and a fancy lubricant she bought at FredSegal. Now, you don’t know what to believe, do you?
In the new world of rock sleaze, when celebrities shag one another, they can barely wait to zip their flies before regaling the media with every pornographic detail. The real power of kissing and telling is that, in the pop-music realm, there’s always a reasonable doubt. When Tupac Shakur boasted, “You claim to be a playa / But I fucked your wife” to his rival the Notorious B.I.G. on the brutal 1996 single “Hit ‘Em Up,” many automatically suspected that Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans, had cheated, despite her emphatic denials. Eminem dissed Mariah Carey on his single “Superman” (“What–you tryin’ to be my new wife?”) because she had the nerve to deny that they’d had an affair–although he’d already made it public.
Most blabbers try to rationalize their behavior. “It wouldn’t have been kiss and tell if I hadn’t been responding to my fans,” Durst insisted on the Stern show. But his willful dishing had nothing to do with 11-year-olds baiting him online (“Yo, Britney played you, dog!”), it didn’t even have anything to do with Spears. It had everything to do with the fact that Durst–a chubby, balding, marginally talented dude–was motivated by crippling insecurity and a desperate need to appear sexually desirable. At the height of his fame, Durst was turning Playboy centerfolds away, but this ain’t 1999. Now, if even one girl reconsiders his appeal because Spears might have found him hot, Durst wins. Similarly, when Michael Jackson admitted to television journalist Martin Bashir that childhood friend Tatum O’Neal once threw herself at him, we were reminded that Jacko was once a sexy guy with a nose.
Both Durst and Jackson have peaked creatively. Savvy businessmen, they know a good song is not necessary to get people talking. Would “Just Drop Dead”–Durst’s tasteless account of his alleged Britney affair–be remarkable if he hadn’t let us know that the lyrics were about America’s sweetheart (“You crossed the fucking line / Now there’s no returnin’ / This lesson that you’re learnin’ / Pullin’ down your panties / And leave your ass burnin'”)? Even a great pop song like Justin Timberlake’s Spears-inspired “Cry Me a River” can’t stand on its own anymore. Shortly before his solo debut was released, Timberlake admitted to a New York hip-hop station that he’d gone down on Spears. The horny DJs treated him like a hero, then played his new record. Trash-talking about famous ass is the new payola.
“If Eminem had called Mariah ‘the Dark Lady of the Sonnets,’ it would be a lot more interesting,” says singer/songwriter Carly Simon, whose 1973 hit “You’re So Vain” may be the most famous kiss-and-tell song of all time. For three decades, she has refused to reveal who probably thinks the song is about him (speculations include Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson, and ex-husband James Taylor). “I have no intention of ever giving that away,” she says. “I’ve never kissed and told. I certainly am a proponent of honesty, but not without grace or mystery.” Simon is alternately amused and aghast at her song’s legacy. “I suppose more is better at a certain point,” she says. “Like, the more beans you can spill the better. But the withholding of the beans is sexy.”
Disclaimer: Marc Spitz continued to insist that he had sexual intercourse with Britney Spears until we turned him over to Spin’s lawyers. After three days of interrogation at an undisclosed location, Spitz finally folded and admitted they’d never even met.