Sandra Bullock a class act, PR example to scandalized starlets
She was certainly well cast as Miss Congeniality.
Sandra Bullock’s biker husband is embroiled in salacious sex scandals, but she steadfastly maintains her sweetheart status. In Bullock’s first major interview since news broke of her hubby Jesse James’ affairs with at least two tattooed mistresses, the Oscar winner chose to celebrate her newly adopted son rather than rant against James, whom she confirmed she’s divorcing.
“He’s just perfect. I can’t even describe him any other way,” Bullock, 45, tells People magazine of 31/2-month-old Louis, adopted from New Orleans, a process she had begun with James, 41.
Integrity intact, the “Blind Side” star spoke about her split and had only compliments for James as a father.
Bullock has set a sterling example on how to survive a Hollywood scandal, experts said.
“She’s really cemented her branding worldwide,” said Hollywood image consultant Michael Sands. “Under a constant barrage of media, she’s just remaining very cool, calm and collected under fire.”
Though naturally media-shy, her ability to keep mum in an age of Twitter and TMZ makes Bullock a class act, experts said Wednesday.
“She’s in charge of her own life. … She knows how to escape from the media, and she has put them on her timetable,” said Elayne Rapping, pop-culture analyst and SUNY-Buffalo professor. “She’s now willing to give interviews because she’s so happy” about the adoption.
Bullock’s down-to-earth nature combined with a credentialed acting career distinguish her from the scandalized Lindsay Lohan and other “famous for being famous” starlets, said UGO.com TV editor Hilary Rothing.
“She’s on another level. She just won an Oscar,” said Rothing, adding, “She’s better at being a human than James James.”
Before the People story, Bullock made the savvy decision to stay silent, beyond a brief comment denying she was on James’ sex tapes, experts said. “Her people have not spun the story whatsoever. They let Jesse self-destruct. They let Michelle [McGee, his mistress] self-destruct,” Sands said. “That’s a real PR campaign.”
James fumbled his by issuing public apologies that couldn’t possibly come across as sincere, Sands said.
Carmel Darienzo, 41, of the Upper West Side, said she has felt admiration for Bullock. “Sandra Bullock’ s reputation did not drop one bit after this recent scandal. I just felt more compassion for her,” she said. “I don’t see her as the victim here.”
Julia Borovskaya contributed to this story.
Class acts or PR dunces: We rank scandal-stricken stars (10 being most admirable, 1 being least) on how they've handled fallout and the media.
Sandra Bullock: 10
Kept quiet and composed, never lashing out against her adulterous hubby in public.
Elin Nordegren: 9
Seen jetting home to Sweden sans Tiger Woods, but remains a mystery to the media – a PR plus.
Jennifer Aniston: 6
Still makes tabloid covers about Brad Pitt five years after her divorce from him. “She’s bleeding all over the place, a bleeding heart,” said Hollywood image consultant Michael Sands.
Kim Kardashian: 5
Post-sex tape and Reggie Bush breakup, the reality TV keeps in the limelight with relentless tweeting and countless tabloid bikini photos.
Kate Gosselin: 4
Called “a self-fulfilling kind of celebrity” by TV expert Hilary Rothing, Gosselin labors to stay famous by feuding with husband Jon and dancing with stars.
Britney Spears: 2
She’s calmed down as of late, but was a starlet who invited attention by living recklessly and getting in trouble with the law.
Lindsay Lohan: 1
Has police run-ins just as a younger Spears did, but exacerbates her unstable image by raging about her dad and the media on Twitter.