Let's talk about cheating, shall we?
Cheating is the ugly side of love. Whether you're the cheater or the cheated, infidelity is a painful and ugly thing to deal with.
It's also pretty dang common. Probably far more common than most of us care to think about, especially if you're like me and currently in a committed relationship.
But what about if you're famous? Is cheating thought about differently when it's the famous dealing with it? Is it more accepted or even more expected? And more importantly, is there a double standard for cheaters based on whether they're a man or a woman?
I ask this because there seems to be a huge double standard going on in country music as we speak and it fascinates me to no end.
Yeah, strange things fascinate me.
So let's talk about the double standard I mentioned before. Let's talk about Jason Aldean and LeAnn Rimes and how fans seem to be treating them differently despite the fact that their stories of infidelity are so similar.
I'm sure most country fans are aware that both Jason and LeAnn went through cheating scandals in recent years. As a recap, LeAnn Rimes did a movie several years ago with Eddie Cibrian, a married father of two, and ended up having an affair with him. Pictures came out in the tabloids and the private affair became public, very public. LeAnn and Eddie divorced their spouses and married each other. They've now been married for several years. You'd think that would be the end of the story, but you'd be wrong. It seems that a lot of country fans have branded LeAnn a homewrecker and aren't prepared to forget it anytime soon. Several years on and LeAnn's cheating is still a hot topic for the tabloids.
Then came Jason Aldean. Jason was a married father of two back in 2012 when he was caught on camera playing tonsil hockey with a pretty young blond woman who was most definitely not his wife. A tabloid (TMZ) ran the pictures of Jason and Brittany Kerr's bar-room make-out session and their deed became public, very public. TMZ also ran video of an apparently drunk Jason leaving the bar. He later said the best thing that happened that night was that he left the bar alone.
Sure, maybe he left the bar without Miss Kerr, but who knows what happened later? As a few people pointed out at the time, Jason and Brittany looked hella comfortable together and not exactly like two people who had just met that evening.
After the kissing pictures surfaced, Jason apologized publicly for being a dipshit. He apologized and looked sad and remorseful and gave a few excuses. Blah, blah, blah. His wife stood by him and it seemed like fans quickly excused Jason's actions as simply "boys will be boys" and moved on. However, many, far too many in my opinion, fans crucified Brittany while in the same breath praising Jason for his honesty and his willingness to apologize.
Skip ahead and Jason and his wife's marriage crumbled and they filed for divorce and everyone seems to have forgiven and forgotten Jason's past lapse in judgement.
But then comes the kicker, at least in my opinion. Last week, I posted a story about how Brittany – yes, the tongue-hockey partner – has been spotted backstage at several Jason Aldean concerts in recent months. The pictures also clearly showed Brittany sporting VIP passes.
Yesterday, I received more pictures of Brittany at one of Jason's concerts. This is probably the 6th set of pictures I've received showing Brittany at the concert.
It seems pretty clear that Jason is still seeing Brittany. The interesting question is did he ever quit seeing her?
The reader who sent the latest set of pictures above (sorry, I've since removed them) said:
It looks like your magic 8 ball is right. Apparently she has been seen at most of his shows lately. The comments on your post say no one cares. Well the "Aldean Army" is about to riot from the comments I've seen in all the social media groups we are all in. If people don't think his career was affected before, they will now. Fans are already jumping ship. Apparently how stupid can you be was taken as a challenge and not a question.
If the "Aldean Army" really are about to riot, I sure haven't seen it. After I posted my last article about Jason and Brittany, it really did seem that no one cared and the post, one that I thought would blow up, went nowhere. Truth be told, I didn't personally really care too much either since Jason is officially single and can see pretty much whoever he wants. That said, I was really, really surprised – shocked actually – by the fact that those conservative country fans who still bash LeAnn Rimes for cheating with and then marrying Eddie didn't bat an eye at the fact that Jason is apparently still seeing the woman who he was caught cheating with (if you consider kissing cheating).
Double standard much?
Seriously, though, I'm fascinated by the fact that Jason is getting a pass on all of this and really has been from the beginning, while LeAnn has been vilified from the day it was just a rumor that she was cheating and is still vilified despite the fact that she eventually married the man she cheated with.
Broadway asked on his Facebook last week: Let's assume Jason Aldean ends up marrying Brittany Kerr, and they live happily ever after. Doesn't the cheating scandal then become a lot less significant?
Well yeah, it should. The thing is, if fans believe that Jason marrying Brittany lessens what they did in the past then why is LeAnn still labeled as a homewrecker by so many despite having married and still being married to Eddie?
It honestly hits me as a complete fan-and-media-driven double standard and one that I don't think is fair in the least. The only difference in the stories that I can think of is that Jason has remained relatively mum on his personal life while LeAnn has acted like a publicity-starved open book, constantly at war with the ex Eddie divorced to marry her.
Is the way LeAnn and Jason handled the aftermath of their affairs the key to the way fans handled the aftermath or could it have more to do with country's continued good ol' boy mentality where fans expect their men to act like horny rockstars and their women to sing pretty, look beautiful, and stand by their men?
Like I said at the beginning, this all fascinates me to no end.
Thoughts? I would honestly love to hear from people who think of these two cheating scenarios differently and why.
Update: To anyone who commented previously on this story, I just started using Disqus, a commenting program that lets you comment via Facebook. Unfortunately when I installed it it deleted all the previous comments. I wasn't trying to silence the haters, I was just trying to install a more user-friendly commenting system. I meant to do it a long time ago but just got around to it today. I didn't realize all the previous comments would disappear. Oops.
Here are screen shots of the comments that were previously there that disappeared after I implemented Disqus for anyone who says I deleted them because I didn't like the comments. I've never deleted comments because they disagreed with me and it irritates me that people think that I do that. Just click them to enlarge them.
Also, I don't hate Jason and I don't hate LeAnn. This whole post has absolutely nothing to do with cheating, what I was commenting on is the difference in fan reactions to similar stories and how I believe very strongly that it has to do with the fact that Jason's a dude and LeAnn's not. It wouldn't be any different if they both got DUIs and fans reacted differently to each star's crime.
What people reading need to understand is that I didn't pull this story out of thin air – for the last month or so I've been getting emails and DMs on Twitter telling me that Jason is still seeing Brittany. I ignored it for a long time until I started getting pictures. What I'm hearing is that many (but not all) fans feel duped because they defended Jason and now it's coming out that the woman he made out to just be a temporary mistake seems to be more than that.
Another update: TMZ is now backing up my story so suck it haters. I took this story down on Saturday because of the massive amount of hate I got from the super-fans. There's safety in numbers so this go around I'll just ignore any backlash.