What we can learn from Kristen Stewart's public apology

What we can learn from Kristen Stewart's public apology

Here's a poorly kept relationship secret: sometimes, people cheat.

Yes, I know. It sucks, it's not right nor is it OK, but it happens every now and again. And, even more shocking : it's not just limited to ordinary folks. But yet, the heated conversations that have set the internet by storm following Kristen Stewart's revelation and subsequent apology express confusion and fascination that she could do such a thing. And what about Robert Pattinson, her "grief-stricken" boyfriend? How is he holding up? Do they have a future? Why would she DO that to Robert? And of course, let's not forget the co-cheater, Rupert Sanders, a married man with kids (although he doesn't seem to be getting it quite as bad as Kristen).

That said, this post will NOT be to zone in on the actual act, or to recount it blow by blow... Because of course, it's obvious that they are human and young... So they're entitled to make mistakes. And many of them I might add.

No, the most fascinating part of this is how Kristen's apology read as more of a plea directed at Robert. As Celebritology (a Washington Post blog, for those of you not hip to it) pointed out, Kristen's admission lumped her in with a bunch of other celebs who take their display of mea culpa to the media, and only added another layer of awkward with how directly it spoke to Robert. But, ultimately, Kristen's statement, largely targeted at her boyfriend, really does more to hurt an already fragile relationship:

  • First, by publicly directing the most personal part of the apology, she takes a very delicate issue that should be between two folks and invites the world into it. Yes, it's true, she's a public figure and they're a public couple... However, all the more reason that the problem solving should lie between the two of them before they open it up to the court of public opinion.
  • Second, it doesn't allow Robert to deal privately at all. Many stories have pinned him as "heart broken" and "emotionally distraught" -- which may or may not be true. It could be JUST as true that he didn't want to deal with the paparazzi frenzy outside his home and wanted to catch his breath. He may stick it out with her, he may not... But shouldn't he get the chance to deal with this however he wants to? (My guess here: As a 26 year old, gorgeous movie star, I'm sure that at least hiding out and recovery will have its benefits)
  • Third, it's got a touch of insincerity to it. Say what you will... But public apologies are often public because people know they can't back peddle out of something once they got caught. And, when you're talking about a relationship, the last thing you need is to add more pomp and circumstance. Essentially, in a way, this diminishes the intimacy that should lie in an apology when someone wrongs someone else.

It may have been a drastic measure to make sure he heard her. But did it make the right lasting effect, really?

The future of Kristen and Robert looks like it's still up in the air. And while most of the world will have forgotten about this very, very soon, it's Kristen and Robert that have to deal with the aftermath. But the truth is, when it comes down to it, neither one of them will be able to erase any very public images or statements these last few days -- which doesn't do much to help them on their path to recovery, does it?

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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