O'Brien facing rehab, harrassment allegations
It was the most salacious celebrity news of last week — involving alcohol rehab, sexually explicit voicemails leaked on the Internet and rumors of disturbing photographic evidence.
Yet none of TV’s entertainment mags covered it.
Blame it on the subject: “The Insider” host Pat O’Brien.
Soon after O’Brien announced he’d checked himself into rehab for an alcohol addiction, tapes surfaced on the Web of a man — allegedly O’Brien — leaving X-rated messages on an unidentified woman’s voicemail.
Allegations of sexual harassment by O’Brien surfaced in the New York tabloids, as did word that a photo of O’Brien engaged in a compromising situation would soon surface.
But while the tabs and Internet gossip sites had a field day over O’Brien’s problems, shows like “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight” — which normally are all over such stories — stayed out of the fray.
“The Insider,” after all, is a spinoff of Paramount’s “ET.” And O’Brien is the former host of “Access.”
O’Brien burned bridges at “Access” when he jumped ship last year to “The Insider,” which would seem to give the NBC-produced mag reason to ferociously jump all over the story.
But it’s likely “Access” doesn’t want to give O’Brien any free publicity. Same goes for Warner Bros.’ “Extra,” which has also avoided mentioning O’Brien’s problems.
“We cover celebrities, not the people who cover celebrities,” says an “Access Hollywood” publicist.