Celebrities reveal the best gossip they’ve heard about themselves

Gossip Week: In this special episode of FIRST, we asked our celebrities to share their favourite pieces of completely unfounded gossip about themselves.

All week, The Spinoff is taking a look at the role of gossip in Aotearoa’s past, present and future – read more Gossip Week content here.

Newshub’s political editor Tova O’Brien is used to hearing fake news about herself. “I think I’ve had affairs with almost every leader of every political party,” she tells FIRST. “I think I was simultaneously, at one point, having an affair with Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges.” 

She’s not the only local celebrity that has been the subject of a fake affair rumour – Ladyhawke recalls some salacious scuttlebutt about herself and Peaches. Melodownz recently heard “strange” news of his non-existent affair, choosing to react with a nonchalant “what the hell.” 

Then there’s the vicious schoolyard rumours that still haunt our celebrities to this day. Comedian Brynley Stent received a nasty label at high school. “I didn’t want to kiss one person and they were like ‘you’re frigid’ – so then it went around that I was frigid. At 13 years old!” 

Kids, they can be cruel. Fellow comedian Pax Assadi was subject of a SARS rumour, and Shit You Should Care About’s Lucy Blakiston was accused of being “an uptight, skanky little b-word.” But perhaps the most baffling of all comes from actor Te Ao O Hinepehinga:

“I was walking down the road and all of my friends came running towards me. I thought ‘oh, they missed me’ but, no. Apparently someone started a rumour that I’d shaved my head.”

Watch other episodes of FIRST here and subscribe to hear extended interviews on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.




The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.