Accused daily of pressuring Rebel Wilson to come out

On June 9, Rebel Wilson used her official Instagram account to make her romance with designer Ramona Agruma public, assuring her fans that he had finally found his “Disney princess” after years of “looking for a prince”.

Although the couple had appeared publicly at the Oscar after party in Vanity Fair and Agruma had become a regular fixture on Wilson’s Instagram in recent months, the 42-year-old actress had never commented on their relationship, so although the announcement was well received by her followers, some of them wondered: Because right now?

Rebel Wilson and Ramona Agruma

It turns out that the Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald was behind the post but for the vilest reason you can imagine. Wilson’s happy announcement was marred by news that the star had no choice but to go public with their relationship before the newspaper spread the news.

This June 11, the Australian media published an article in the column private sydney which said they contacted the actress on June 9 and gave her two days to reply before they publicly revealed that she is in a relationship with a woman. The following is an excerpt from the (now deleted) article written by columnist Andrew Hornery:

SMH article on Rebel Wilson

It was with great caution and respect that this news outlet emailed Rebel Wilson’s representatives Thursday morning, giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with another woman, Los Angeles casual wear designer Ramona. Agruma, before posting a single word.

Unsurprisingly, the outlet is now facing criticism after putting pressure on the star of bridesmaids to reveal his relationship with Agruma. So much fans as LGBTQ+ activists, they took to social media in rejection of what they called an attempt to “get her out of the closet.” Among them was the reporter from the BBCMegha Mohan, who criticized the newspaper’s journalistic methods and the tone of the article:

I just read this piece from the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ three times to make sure I wasn’t misreading it. The publication messaged Rebel Wilson that she would be kicked out in two days and now she’s complaining that she herself chose to advertise her relationship with a woman. Pretty amazing.

I’m with Rebel Wilson. To some extent, I’m happy that she’s out, but it had to be entirely on her terms, when she was ready, if she ever was. Not because she was forced to. The actions of the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ are beyond shameful.

Amid the controversy, the publisher of the Sydney Morning HeraldBevan Shields, issued a follow-up article in which he denies that the newspaper had “exposed” Wilson and claims that he had “merely asked questions”:

SMH article on Rebel Wilson

We simply asked questions and, as standard practice, included a deadline for a response. We would have asked the same questions if Wilson’s new partner had been a man. Say that the ‘Herald’ ‘exposed’ to Wilson is incorrect.

For her part, Wilson herself responded to a user’s tweet that said: “Apparently, it wasn’t Rebel Wilson’s decision to come out of the closet. The SMH admitted giving her two days’ notice that they were going to ‘take her out’”:

Thank you for your comments, it was a very difficult situation, but I am trying to get through it gracefully.

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