MAUREEN CALLAHAN: How delicious to see Team Jonas’ ugly ‘bad mom’ blitzkrieg on Sophie Turner misfire so spectacularly… She will win this dirty divorce saga – and his good guy image may be destroyed forever
In a year of messy celebrity splits, the Sophie Turner-Joe Jonas bust-up may be the messiest.
But it’s also the most revelatory: We are watching, in real time, the ‘bad mommy’ narrative backfire — spectacularly.
Before the couple announced their separation earlier this month, Jonas’s team seemed to embark on a none-too-subtle blitzkrieg: Joe was suddenly a de facto single parent to two small daughters, ages three and one, even as he was on tour.
Oh, how he was suffering. Look at this not-at-all-staged paparazzi shot, Joe holding one of his daughters with Sophie nowhere in sight, his wedding ring visibly missing. If only their mother could bother to, well, be a mother.
‘She likes to party,’ a Jonas source told TMZ, ‘[and] he likes to stay at home. They have very different lifestyles.’
We all know what ‘partying’ is code for: the implication that Turner drinks too much or uses drugs.
In a year of messy celebrity splits, the Sophie Turner-Joe Jonas bust-up may be the messiest. But it’s also the most revelatory: We are watching, in real time, the ‘bad mommy’ narrative backfire — spectacularly.
Before the couple announced their separation earlier this month, Jonas’s team seemed to embark on a none-too-subtle blitzkrieg. ‘She likes to party,’ a Jonas source told TMZ, ‘[and] he likes to stay at home. They have very different lifestyles.’ We all know what ‘partying’ is code for: the implication that Turner drinks too much or uses drugs.
It was ugly and gratuitous and hypocritical: After all, are we meant to believe that 34-year-old Joe Jonas, who has been famous since he was a teenager, who has spent the bulk of his life as a touring pop musician and has a string of famous ex-girlfriends — Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift among them — is a choirboy?
Please. Those infamous purity rings came off a long time ago.
Here’s Turner in a 2021 Netflix comedy roast of her husband and his brothers: ‘For those of you who don’t know, purity rings are worn to demonstrate that you’re abstaining from sex before marriage. And the Jonas brothers — they all had them… But Joe Jonas wasn’t just sticking his fingers in some dumb metal rings, he was sticking his fingers in co-stars, actresses, and even a supermodel or two’ as a teenage Disney star.
As they say, there’s a grain of truth in every joke.
And what about the Joe Jonas who told CBS Sunday Morning in May 2021 that it took a global pandemic for him to become an active presence in his children’s lives?
‘It’s been forced time at home,’ he said. ‘I’m always on the go, I’m always moving and traveling and touring. And to be in one place for a solid amount of time and [have] my feet on the ground and be with my family, my immediate family, is time I don’t think I’ll get back.’
Here’s how Turner described herself to Conan O’Brien in April 2020, early into lockdown: ‘I’m an introvert. I’m a homebody… If I could stay at home all day I would, so this is great for me.’
What an epic misfire for Team Jonas then to paint Turner’s decision to film a six-part ITV series in England last summer as abandonment. This is really archaic stuff.
As described in Turner’s bombshell court filing Thursday — more on that later — the job was ‘the first significant role the Mother has taken on since having the children.’
A friend of Turner’s told the Daily Mail that the actress, now 27, had been struggling for a while. ‘She feels like her life has stalled after “Game of Thrones” and so has her personal life… Sophie feels like she’s only just waking up to what her life and reality really is. She became famous at a very young age, then married and had kids at a young age and never really had the teenage years of sleeping around and just having carefree fun with friends.’
It was ugly and gratuitous and hypocritical. Are we meant to believe that Joe Jonas, who has been famous since he was a teenager, who has spent the bulk of his life as a touring pop musician and has a string of famous ex-girlfriends is a choirboy? (Pictured this month in LA).
What an epic misfire for Team Jonas to paint Turner’s decision to film a six-part ITV series in England last summer as abandonment. This is really archaic stuff.
Sophie Turner’s public crisis evokes, to my mind, none so much as the fictional Nora’s in Ibsen’s play ‘A Doll’s House’: A young, newly domesticated wife and mother pilloried for having ambitions of her own. That play was written in 1879.
These Jonas claims smell like mothballs. They’ve got the stench of an old house or a thrift store. His wife, who was a famous actress when they met, wants to remain a famous actress? Shock of all shocks!
You’d think someone whose fan base is nearly 100 percent female might have thought this through. Women don’t easily forgive rich, famous, bitter ex-husbands for shaming their ex-wives as bad moms.
Ask none other than Alec Baldwin, who spent years accusing his ex-wife Kim Basinger of parental alienation – a crusade that ended after a voicemail leaked in which he ranted at his then 11-year-old daughter, calling her ‘a rude, thoughtless little pig.’
Chris Pratt has faced well-deserved criticism for social media posts shading his ex-wife Anna Faris and her fitness as a mother. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. infamously disparaged his estranged wife Mary, who committed suicide in 2012, as a terrible mother to all who would listen – after her death.
None of these men seem to realize or care about the obvious consequence: Their children will grow up to read all of this stuff someday. It’s a pretty low bar for celebrity parenting 101: Keep your mouths shut.
Sophie Turner should be cheered for expertly playing a long game.
How smart she’s been to stay so quiet, to orchestrate photo-ops this week with Swift — who has written songs believed to be about Jonas’s casual cruelty during their relationship — and to allow her court petition to do all the talking.
And wow: In that filing, Turner alleges that Jonas is refusing to turn over the children’s passports and is engaged in ‘wrongful retention’, reneging on their agreement to move to England, her home country, permanently.
‘The Mother is fully involved in all of the children’s schooling, medical care, dental care, cultural activities, and other activities in England,’ the petition states. ‘The Mother provides all of the children’s day-to-day care in England. England is the children’s habitual residence.’
Sophie should be cheered for expertly playing a long game. How smart she’s been to stay so quiet, to orchestrate photo-ops this week with Taylor Swift (pictured with Turner this week) and to allow her court petition to do all the talking.
Further, it states that ‘On or about September 5, 2023, the Mother found out through the media that the Father had filed for divorce.’
Nice guy, right?
What happens next may very well permanently ruin Joe Jonas’s good-guy image, because he can’t seem to stop mudslinging.
Immediately after Turner’s court filing, a representative for the singer issued a statement slamming it as a ‘harsh legal position’ that contradicted the ‘amicable co-parenting setup’ he claims they were establishing.
After all, nothing says ‘amicable’ like allowing ‘sources’ close to you to spread rumors about the mother of your children to TMZ.
There’s a reason this celebrity split, more than any other this year, resonates: Misogyny just isn’t as easily explained away anymore.
Women and teenage girls are going to think twice about putting money in his pocket.
And if there’s one thing Joe Jonas cares about, it’s probably money.
He was sure to make good with Swift after their acrimonious breakup – in part, he said, because ‘no one f**ks with the Swifties.’
Sophie’s appearances with Swift this week, once arm-in-arm just hours before she filed that petition, should give Joe Jonas serious pause.
And if she’s able to keep her dignified silence – think Jennifer Aniston at the height of Brangelina – Sophie Turner will win, in more ways than one.
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