Whenever my vulgar curiosity needs satisfaction, I turn to the Daily Mail website. What, you've never visited? The DM's intrepid squad of reporters fans out across the globe, leaving no Dumpster unsifted in the quest for sordid celebrity gossip (or, as the DM delicately names it, Femail), so readers are kept up-to-the-minute on which celebrities are too skinny (Angelina!) and which are too fat (Jessica!) and which have just been outed for cavorting with prostitutes while their wives were pregnant.
The latest in that illustrious line would be 24-year-old footballer Wayne Rooney, a star player for Manchester United and the England national team, whose response to the scandal is that he's "not prepared to take any s--- off the wife and her family" and "if she can't handle it and it's over, so be it." If this sounds a bit jaded, well, Rooney's been there before: he's already well-known among football fans and Femail readers alike for his teenage encounter with a 48-year-old hooker known (affectionately, one presumes) as the Auld Slapper.
At least wronged wife Coleen can take comfort in the fact that she's not alone. From Elin Nordegren to Sandra Bullock to Silda Spitzer, the wives of high-profile men have put up with a lot of high-priced competition over recent years. Or maybe the cheating was always going on, and today's offenders are just unlucky to have come of age in a time of instant news and transparent privacy. The Rooney affair came to light when Juicy Jeni -- one of the ladies involved -- sold her story to a tabloid, prompting a wave of disapproving website commentary that she was dishonoring her profession.
Whether it's the reap-the-rewards mentality of successful people, or our modern capability for rationalizing and entitlement, or the diminishing sacredness of sex in Western society, we've heard any number of reasons for the infidelity epidemic. Rooney's petulant comments suggest that he knows he did a bad thing, but can't summon the moral fiber to blame himself for it. As an athlete, he ought to be well-acquainted with self-control and physical discipline; apparently, though, he chooses to save all that effort for the football pitch, where it's appreciated by legions of worshipful fans rather than a single nagging wife in the yucky throes of pregnancy.
Anyhoo. The Daily Mail will feast on the story for a week or two, and then the Rooneys will probably reconcile and have another baby, and Femail will move on to obsess over the speed at which Coleen loses her pregnancy weight.
Which means the next celebrity cheating scandal can't be far behind.