Crisp Lisp and Toothy Tile
So who is the male star who was seen at a major post-Oscar fete being very affectionate with a same-sex partner, in apparently the first time this star has swung from that side of the plate?
A brief history for the uninitiated: Ted Casablancas is a gossip columnist for E! Online. Ted is pretty respected and his gossip is considered more reliable than much of what is out there. Like many gossip columnists, Ted sometimes runs "Blind Items." The idea behind a Blind Item (or BI) is that it is so juicy and secret (and difficult to corroborate) that the columnist can't share it with the public for fear of a lawsuit. Of course, the mystery of a blind item makes it so popular, and they are many readers' favorite aspects of a column, so I am sure many columnists sometimes fabricate them.
About a year ago Ted Casablancas did a blind item about someone he called "Toothy Tile" (the subject of a blind item is usually given a jangly name of some sort). In short, the story of Toothy was that he was a young up-and-comer in Hollywood who was gay (or bi) and closeted. The story went that Toothy, who had recently broken up with a dimpled, popular, annoyingly perfect girlfriend, had sometimes thought of coming out, but people around him always convinced him not to.
Unlike most blind items, which are run in one or, more rarely, two columns, never to reappear, Ted brought up Toothy several times over the period of a year. Ted also would run reader guesses as to Toothy's identity in his column, eliminating certain celebrities. By the end of the year, Ted had eliminated almost every man in Hollywood except for Jake Gyllenhaal, and the clues seemed to fit him well. Internet chatter revealed a general belief that Gyllenhaal was Toothy. (For Ted's postings regarding Toothy, see this, which shows you all of the links to Ted's Toothy columns--or at least 40 of 48 of them; to see the first eight, just run the search at the top of the page again.)
Last week, Ted decided that Toothy was old news and a new star was more intriguing.* Ted wrote that this man, dubbed Crisp Lisp, was seen at a major Hollywood party after the Oscars very close with another man, and it was clear to everyone that they were together and weren't trying to hide it. Ted tells us that this seems to be Crisp's first try at a serious gay relationship. He also drops some hints about Crisp's identity--he is quiter than Tara Reed (who isn't?), he has "a detrator, or three" in Hollywood and he has been at a bunch of high-profile parties of late.
Ted also eliminated three actors from the running: Terrence Howard, Matt Dillon and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Often, this is the best clue, as there will often be something that links the three eliminated choices with the actual subject of the BI.
So, who is Crisp Lisp? Many think it is Joaquin Phoenix. Like Howard, Dillon and Rhys-Meyers, he has been nominated for a Golden Globe and/or Academy Award this year. Also, Ted later ran a reader guess and eliminated Philip Seymour Hoffman from the mix, stating that Philip Seymour Hoffman was not Crisp and that Crisp was "a tad less celebrated." Many thought this confirmed the Joaquin guess, as Hoffman won the Oscar Phoenix was up for, and many thought that Phoenix was Hoffman's major competition. In that same column Ted also eliminated Nick Lachey, saying that Nick was more "vocal (spoken)" and that Crisp was "super insular." Again, many think this points to Joaquin, who is generally considered quiet and private. And they think that the (spoken) qualifier after saying Crisp was less vocal than Lachey is a nod to the fact that Phoenix did, in fact, sing throughout "Walk the Line." Also, the fact that this is reportedly Crisp's first attempt at a relationship with a man fits in with Phoenix's previous relationship with Liv Tyler and his rumored falling for Reese Witherspoon while filming Walk the Line.
But is it Joaquin? Rumors also abound that he is dating Eva Mendez. Is he dating her? Is she a beard? And if Crisp Lisp was so obvious at this major Hollywood party, why hasn't any columnist written anything about it? Wouldn't it be common knowledge?
Personally, I am really stumped on this one. As clues we have someone who:
Is trying out men for the first time
Has been to many high-profile parties recently
Has a detractor or three in Hollywood
Is a tad less celebrated than Philip Seymour Hoffman
Anyone have any thoughts? I love talking about this stuff (a mystery worthy of Jessica Fletcher...or Laura Holt). I must admit, however, that it really seems wrong to out someone who doesn't want to be, even if that person is a celebrity (although the implication here is that Crisp isn't trying to hide anything). Of course, since I have no inside Hollywood gossip, I personally can't out anyone, and love playing the guessing game.
ETA: Another layer to the mystery. Many people noted that Joaquin mouthed "I love ___" to the camera during the Oscar Ceremony. To test your lip reading skills, watch it here. Sorry Red, didn't want to mess with your good post, but can't work the links in the comments. --Laura Holt // No problem Holt. I have heard that he was mouthing the name of his neice/nephew, but don't know whether that is true. --Red
*Oh, and a very interesting sidenote. The day Ted's columns appear the front page will have teasers, featuring three celebrities with a word over each face. These words relate to gossip about those celebrities, which appears inside of the column. On the day that Ted's column contained the Crisp Lisp BI, one of the photos on the front of the column was of Jake Gyllenhaal with the word "Competition?" written across it. (See this link to Defamer to get the visual.) What's interesting--Jake was not mentioned ONCE in Ted's entire column. But Toothy was, as someone who had lost out to Crisp Lisp in being the most interesting closet case in Hollywood. Most who have noticed this are considering it virtual confirmation from Ted that Jake is, in fact, Toothy.