CULTURE

Why Is Bruce Willis Quarantining with Ex-Wife Demi Moore?

The family clearly has a fun time together, but how does this work?

Instagram

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were married for 13 years, from 1987-2000.

Since that time they have both remarried, Moore in an ill-fated union with Ashton Kutcher (16 years her junior) and Willis to his current wife Emma Heming Willis (24 years his junior). So why, 20 years after their divorce, are Moore and Willis not only spending time together but quarantining as a family?

The easy answer is that they just seem to get along. They have three daughters together and have maintained a friendly relationship that seems to have made it much easier to co-parent. On Willis' recent birthday Moore even posted an old family photo on Instagram showing the five of them together with the message "Happy birthday Bruce! Thank you for the three greatest gifts of my life." Apart from their children and a desire to marry people born in 1978, the former couple generally seem to have a lot in common, and the family has been getting up to some silly fun while quarantining together—including taking dressing up in matching pajamas (with a giant fork and spoon for some reason), and gathering around while Bruce Willis gives their daughter Tallulah Willis a buzz cut.

A more complicated answer might be that there's some drama at the Willis house that drove Bruce to seek some other shelter. Is his wife or one of their young daughters sick, necessitating Willis—who just turned 65—to get some distance? Or was the stress of spending all day in close confines with a five and eight-year-old getting to be too much? At 41, Emma Heming Willis might have more energy and patience for their young children than Bruce. It could be that his mental health was more at risk than his physical health, and he needed to get away for a bit. Adult children are certainly less likely to run around the house screaming and knocking things over.

Of course, this is all speculation. Moore and Willis haven't offered a public explanation for staying together during the quarantine, and there might be no explanation at all—Willis might have just decided to go over for a visit. Though if that's the case, someone really needs to explain the term "quarantine." Whatever the case, Emma Heming Willis doesn't seem to be too concerned. She commented on the video of Tallulah's new haircut that the 26-year-old "got the good head shape gene and then some."

CULTURE

The Hollywood Ripper: How Hollywood Promotes the "Perfect Victim" Archetype

The Hollywood Ripper's story will probably get made into a feature film. Here's why that's a problem.

Hollywood loves a beautiful dead girl.

The first truly famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper, became a public phenomenon after he brutally killed six women in London's East End. Since then, nearly all of the murder cases that have dominated tabloids since have involved the deaths of young women. Take the Black Dahlia, arguably the first murder case that captivated America. Or JonBenét Ramsey. Or Charles Manson, with his "Family" of young women who are best known for killing Sharon Tate. Or the female victims brutalized by Ted Bundy.

Now, another murderer has been convicted: the aptly named Hollywood Ripper, Michael Gargulio, who was found guilty of killing two women. The trial became even more notorious because a particularly famous Hollywood star—Ashton Kutcher—was involved

Image via the Chicago Sun Times

Kutcher was dating 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin at the time she was murdered, and on the night of her death, they had a date. He knocked on her door, peered in the window, noticed what he thought were red wine stains, and assumed she'd already gone out for the night because he was late. The next morning, Ellerin was found dead as the result of multiple stab wounds.

That was in 2001, and four years later, the killer struck again. In 2005 he murdered 32-year-old Maria Bruno, also with a knife. Recently, after a trial spanning months, the jury found him guilty of both murders on August 15.

Those murders were tragic, and their memories deserve to be honored. There is no doubt about that.

However, the media's obsessive coverage—and even its branding of this killer as the "Hollywood Ripper"—is indicative of a larger issue in terms of what kinds of murders get recognized and sensationalized by the media, and why.

The truth is that Hollywood's "perfect victim" is young, attractive, and white. She is never poor or a person of color. Nevermind that Tracy Single is the fifteenth trans woman of color killed this year, out of sixteen trans people murdered total in 2019. The investigation only sparked interest in activist communities. It did not spark interest among the mass media. There will be no movies made out of her death, no podcasts obsessively tracing her killer. Like many people—immigrants, people of color, inmates or felons, sex workers, and anyone not on the media's radar—these victims are seen as "less dead," less worthy of mass outrage or justice.

Hollywood's perfect murder mystery is intertwined with fame and wealth, charisma and power. Charles Manson has been obsessively covered by the media ever since he went on his killing spree in 1969, and he's become a fixture in music and popular culture. Hollywood loves isolated, powerful, dangerous men and their beautiful, feminine victims.

When will Hollywood stop mythologizing violence?Image via the Daily Express

Maybe it's time to change this narrative. This does not mean that we stop highlighting the deaths of white women and choose to fixate on the narratives of dead trans people instead. It does not mean we level the playing field by glorifying female killers, or promoting female rage, or demonizing all men.

Instead, we must address the source of our American fixation on wealthy, powerful, violent, toxic people whose actions embody a terrible kind of freedom. For too long, Hollywood has been glorifying cowboys and violent action heroes, offering sympathy and profound psychological inquiries into the backstories of flawed and sadistic men, and this is mirrored in the cases that true crime focuses on, and in the stories of the victims who the media revolves around.

Change may start with deconstructing some of the toxic masculinity that buoys the entitlement and selfishness that leads to murder and movements like the incel sect. By prioritizing guns and violence over safety, and making carnivalesque Hollywood spectacles out of certain killings, we will never see the end of this pattern.

If we continue to excuse and glorify powerful people and their murderous actions, if we continue to focus on the damaged psyches of killers while overlooking the lives they ruin and the systems that allow them to incur those damages in the first place, we will only see more of the same—more thoughts and prayers, more invisible bodies swept into obscurity, more dead white women's heavily made-up faces plastered on tabloids, and more Hollywood Rippers.

CULTURE

When Celebrity and Serial Killers Overlap: Ashton Kutcher Testifies in "The Hollywood Ripper" Trial

The allure of Los Angeles has drawn a peculiar number of murderers, but these famous serial killers left an indelible mark on Hollywood.

Despite our cultural obsession with true crime podcasts, documentaries, and dramatized TV series, murder is not a form of entertainment.

But this week, we were reminded of the strange ways they overlap when the trial of the "The Hollywood Ripper" commenced. The serial killer attacked at least four women, mostly in the Los Angeles area, between 1993 and 2008. Michael Gargiulo, a 43-year old LA handyman, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but on the first day of his trial Ashton Kutcher testified against him.

Kutcher recounts that on February 21, 2001, he arrived late to pick up his date, 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin. When she didn't answer her apartment door, he saw through her window what he "thought was red wine on the carpet." He testified that he found it "odd," but he assumed Ellerin was annoyed that he was late and so he left. Ellerin was found murdered the next morning, lying outside her bathroom door with 47 stab wounds.

Two of Gargiulo's neighbors, Maria Bruno, 32, and Tricia Pacaccio, 18, were also stabbed to death in their own homes, in 2005 and 1993, respectively. A fourth woman was attacked in a similar manner but survived. In court documents for Michael Gargiulo's trial, prosecutors allege that he's a "serial, psychosexual, thrill killer who engages in systematic slaughter of beautiful women because he takes pleasure from manipulating, stabbing and killing his victims." They detail that his tactics are to "watch, stalk, and hunt down the victim relentlessly as part of his foreplay" before launching "blitz-type knife attacks" for his "psychosexual gratification.''

Kutcher's small but significant role in "The Hollywood Ripper" trial is the latest example of when celebrity and serial killers overlap. The allure of Los Angeles has drawn a peculiar number of murderers, from the infamously unsolved case of the Black Dahlia to the Manson family murders. These famous serial killers preyed on Hollywood and the larger Los Angeles area.

"The Dating Game" Killer

Rodney Alcala was the winning contestant on the match-making game show, The Dating Game, in 1978. After his TV appearance, he went on to kill at least four people. In 2010, after three separate bizarre trials, Alcala was sentenced to death. He still waits on Corcoran State Prison's death row. While he was convicted of five murders between 1977 and 1979, he's thought to have murdered up to 130 people.

48 Hours Mystery: The Killing Game youtu.be

The Black Dahlia - Los Angeles

Elizabeth Short was a 22-year-old aspiring actress who would only find international fame as a victim of her still unidentified murderer. On January 15, 1947, her dismembered body was found in a vacant land in Leimart Park.

The Chilling Black Dahlia Murder Revisited youtu.be

The Manson Family - Los Angeles

Charles Manson's famous cult was responsible for the deaths of nine people in 1969. As an aspiring songwriter and musician, Manson was oddly good friends with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys even recorded a version of one of Manson's original songs). Quentin Tarantino's latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood depicts Roman Polanski's career in the 1960s (played by Rafał Zawierucha) and the murder of Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie), his wife.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD - Official Trailer (HD) youtu.be

"The Golden State Killer"

The hunt for the Golden State Killer made minor celebrities of detective Paul Holes and the late writer (and wife of Patton Oswalt) Michelle McNamara. Thanks to their investigative efforts, Joseph DeAngelo was finally arrested in 2018 for 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries between 1974 and 1986. McNamara's book I'll Be Gone in the Dark not only coined the killer's name but assisted Paul Holes in finalizing DeAngelo's arrest. Holes now co-hosts the popular Murder Squad podcast and has signed a TV deal with Oxygen Media.

The Golden State Killer

The Golden State Killer open.spotify.com

"The Grim Sleeper" - Los Angeles

Lonnie Franklin, Jr. murdered as many as 25 women in the 1980s; but he's dubbed "the Grim Sleeper" for the unusual 14-year-break between his 1988 and 2002 victims. In 2010, DNA evidence linked Franklin to at least 10 victims. At his 2016 trial, he was sentenced to death. He's still waiting on death row in San Quentin State Prison.

TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER Trailer | Festival 2014 youtu.be

"The Night Stalker"- Los Angeles

Richard Ramirez is thought to have murdered 13 women and assaulted at least 25 in the Los Angeles area within just one year. In 1988, he was convicted of 13 offenses and sentenced to death. Before his execution date, he died in San Quentin State Prison of lymphoma in 2013. Onscreen depictions of Ramirez have starred Lou Diamond Phillips and American Horror Story's Anthony Ruivivar. During his last interview, Ramirez spoke of idolizing the actor who played Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs, the mass murderer who kidnaps and mutilates women. "That scene where he says, 'It rubs the lotion on its skin,' I really like," he told The New York Post.

'The Night Stalker' | SIFF youtu.be

B.S.

27 Things to Text Ashton Kutcher

The actor recently released his phone number on twitter.

Fulltime faux lifestyle guru and part time actor, Ashton Kutcher, shared his phone number on Twitter Tuesday in order to have a "real connection with real people." Only possible from a person as far removed from the unwashed masses as Ashton Kutcher is, the now deleted tweet read, "I miss having a real connection w/ real people. My Community. From now on you can just text me. I won't be able to respond to everyone but at least we can be real w/ each other & I can share the unedited latest & greatest in my world +1 (319) 519-0576 Yes this is my #" The tweet also featured a GIF of Kutcher, saying, "You are the fabric of who we are, and we love you!"

While the tweet made it seem like you'd hear back from the actor directly, fans soon found their texts were answered with an automatic message.

The desire for connection is a normal one, but seeking it through the murky depths of social media seems a little like searching for love at an understaffed DMV. While Kutcher's combined naivete and self-importance is oddly endearing, we can only imagine the rancorous and bizarre messages the 40 year old has received since Tuesday. If you've yet to take this rare opportunity to message The Ranch star (that show still on?), we recommend giving it a go. He literally asked for it. Here are a few conversation starters to help you initiate a life-long friendship.

  1. What inspired you to become an actor?
  2. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
  3. What advice do you have for an aspiring artist?
  4. If you weren't an actor, what would you want to be?
  5. What's your biggest pet peeve?
  6. Are you okay?
  7. If you stab a camel's hump, do you think it deflates like a popped water balloon?
  8. Do you want to come over and watch Jeopardy?
  9. Is Iowa real?
  10. Did the tightness of your pants in that 70's show affect your ability to reproduce?
  11. Any tips for cleaning out a neti pot?
  12. Let's make a secret handshake, you start.
  13. What superpower would you have?
  14. Need anything from the store?
  15. Did you ever play lacrosse or is that just how you look?
  16. Are you as nervous as I am?
  17. Would you rather have "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap playing in your head 24/7 or give Ted Cruz a bath once?
  18. What's your favorite color?
  19. Can I talk to Demi?
  20. Do you regret Two & a Half Men as much as you should?
  21. Could you come pick me up at school?
  22. Remember punk'd? Jeez.
  23. Do you wake up every morning and thank your face for your career?
  24. Could you take a look at this rash for me? Sending picture now.
  25. I'm sending my extensive community theatre resume.
  26. Do you and Mila ever roleplay as Kelso and Jackie? Haha just kidding. No but seriously my wife and I do, any tips?
  27. Are you a dog or cat person?

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.


POP⚡DUST | Read More...


Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of February 1st

Behold Your New God, Shaggy from Scooby-Doo

The Strange Ballad of John McAfee

FILM & TV

5 TV shows you should be watching this summer

WATCH | Best of the small screen to occupy those long, hot nights

Summer television has gotten a bad reputation.

After long days at the beach, by the pool, or you know, sitting inside with the air conditioning and some rosé, it's nice to sit down with something on your small screen, some friends, and a few good snacks and unwind with a series you might not have made time for turning the more stressful months of the year. Here's the list of shows you shouldn't skip when scheduling your DVR.

You can find a list of complete summer premieres on Deadline.

Keep Reading Show less

Famous last words.

Before spilling the beans on the deets on her marriage to Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis uttered these prophetic words to radio shock jock Howard Stern:

"I Might Get in Trouble for This."

Well, Mila obviously knows her hubby well, because the Punk'd star HIT THE ROOF when he heard her candid interview. An exclusive source tells Popdust:

"Ashton was livid. He has been so hell bent on regaining his privacy, he's been going out of his way to stay out of the public eye. Then in one stupid interview, Mila airs out all their business for the world to hear."

The 32-year-old mom of one, who is pregnant with her second baby, told Howard she hopes her husband is "fat and bald and ugly," when her daughter becomes a teenager and her friends come over to gawk at him. Then, when he asked if Ashton was "her first real kiss," she blurted out:

"I don't know who it's weirder for: the 19-year-old kissing the 14-year-old or the 14-year-old kissing the 19-year-old."

Then they got on the topic of marriage:

"We started dating with the idea we both were never going to get married."

After That 70s Show wrapped, Mila and Ashton kept in touch as friends, but then, years later, when she bumped into him at an Awards Show, something changed.

"I see this guy and I see his back and he's really tall. Then he just turns around and it was literally like if we were in a movie, the music would start playing and the violins would go...I think for the first time ever he took my breath away...I was like f—k, he's good looking."

READ MORE....

Ashton Kutcher Set To Testify Against Murdered Girlfriend's Alleged Killer
Ashton Kutcher Is Furious Over Baby Photos
Dude Pretends To Be Ashton Kutcher To Avoid Drug Arrest


But still, there were no benefits, only friendship. In fact, when Ashton invited Mila to his house warming party, he was planning to set her up with one of his friends! But it was that night that the benefits began:

"Long story short, I didn't leave until the next morning," she candidly revealed, though she said she had wanted to call an Uber and take off before daybreak. "[It was the] the first time I ever slept over while I was single."

After that, they agreed to "live out" their 2011 movies Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached. Needless to say, their "super private" casual fling turned into "'til death do us part."

"We would never be together based on the people that we used to be."

Naturally, Ashton saw these comments as major infractions to his obsession with keeping their private life private. Considering he previously told the Huffington Post:

"You know, I've learned the hard way how valuable privacy is. And I've learned that there are a lot of things in your life that really benefit from being private. And relationships are one of them. And I am going to do everything in my power to have this relationship be private."

Oops...

While obviously Mila knows the score when it comes to talking about her marriage, she took her frankness with Howard a step too far for Ashton's liking, our source continued;

"Mila didn't go crazy and talk about sexual positions or anything, but she knew how important privacy is to Ashton and he is really pissed that she revealed so much. They had a huge fight and things are still a bit fragile between them.

The thing is, she doesn't see what the big deal is and that of course is making him even angrier! He didn't even want her to do the interview in the first place!"