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I took photos of a celebrity cheating on his wife. Should I sell them?

March 22, 2013, at 9:00 AM

Dear Starshine,

Last year when I was visiting relatives in the Philippines I spotted a very well known American actor in a popular mall. Although he was wearing sunglasses and a cap, I recognized him immediately. He was with an attractive woman and they were holding hands and kissing. On an impulse, I discreetly took pictures of them. When I returned home, I showed them to my wife, who informed me that this actor has been married with children for years and that the woman in the photos is not his wife. We shook our heads, chuckled, and forgot about it. Then a couple of weeks ago, my daughter, who is well-versed in celebrity gossip, discovered the photos on my computer. She has been urging me to sell the images, saying they might be worth thousands of dollars. She says the man is a louse for cheating, and that being publicly shamed would be a just reward. My wife says she isn't comfortable with selling the photos, but also keeps saying, "We could sure use the money." On my daughter's urging I Googled the actor in question and have sifted through photos of him and his family (out shopping, frolicking gaily on the beach, etc.). They seem happy enough. But I would want to know if my spouse were cheating on me. And yes, I would not mind being thousands and thousands of dollars richer. Would selling the pictures be the correct thing to do?


It's funny how a whiff of wampum caused your position to arc from "chuckling" and "forgetting" about this apparent infidelity to wanting to teach the philandering bastard a lesson and fretting for his in-the-dark missus. Let's be honest: The only "just reward" you're concerned with here is your own, and you can't make a reasonable decision about this until you acknowledge that. So take a minute to do so, then come on back.

Are we good? OK, so the first rule of sensible living is this: People conversant in celebrity gossip are not allowed to give advice. Not ever.

Listen to your wife. Tune into her discomfort because there's good reason for it: Your motivation is messed up. Sure, you'd want to know if your spouse were cheating — but is a salacious TMZ feature the way you'd want to find out? Is that how you'd want your kids to find out? And your kids' friends?

And allow for the possibility that you're mistaken. Actors are odd. Maybe the guy and his wife have an understanding about travel flings. Maybe he's interviewing candidates for a threesome.

Most likely, of course, it's exactly what it looks like. The guy probably did a selfish, unethical thing. Don't do the same. Money's fantastic, but you're a guy with a computer, a digital camera, and opportunities to travel halfway across the world. What could you buy that would make you feel better than minding your own damned business?

**

Dear Starshine,

I got divorced a year ago. I didn't want to split up — my wife left me. Now, after a year of depression, I'm ready to start dating again, but wow, has dating changed since I was in my twenties. Sometimes I feel like I'll never find another person to be with given my age of 38. I know that's not old, but my perception is that the single girls are all 23! And I find the old cliché "the good ones are already taken" seems true. Where would you start? Just focus on me and being healthy, and let things happen naturally? Get out of the house and be visible and outgoing? Or take a more strategic approach such as online dating, singles groups, etc.?


Where would I start? Exactly where you did — by being depressed for a year and disheartened for longer, because it aches to have the wind knocked out of you.

But I have good news: Your honesty is hot. The vulnerability you wear on your sleeve is dead sexy. And the fact that you don't want to date 23-year-olds (or that they don't want to date you) is kind of adorable.

Dude! You're living proof that all the good ones aren't taken!

A warning, though: You're teetering dangerously on the fine line between Sad, Lonely Guy (think dejected, weepy, panicked) and Open to Romance Guy (who'd enjoy sharing his awesome life with a worthy woman).

So make your life awesome. Learn to speak Japanese. Volunteer on a political campaign. Take your dog to an agility class. Rather than aggressively pursuing companionship, do stuff that makes you happy, fulfilled and excited — or as we over-23-year-olds like to call it, datable.

Send me your dilemmas via email: ToughLove@TheWeek.com. And follow me on Twitter: @ToughLoveAdvice

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